Voting underway as Donald Trump faces litmus test

Leroy Wright
November 9, 2018

Republicans are expected to retain their majority in the Senate, where 35 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.

When voting, you can close to vote for a candidate from any party in a general election, such as a presidential, congressional or mayoral election. Victories in contested House races across Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota gave them cause for optimism. GOP Rep. Mimi Walters is running against Democrat Katie Porter, a consumer protection lawyer and Elizabeth Warren protégée.

Texas candidates Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz (top), and Missouri candidates Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley (bottom) are in two of many very close Senate races that will be resolved as votes roll in. Joe Donnelly versus Republican Mike Braun in IN; and Democratic Sen. No longer: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, a close Trump ally, has beat Phil Bredesen, the popular former governor running as a moderate.

"It could happen", President Trump acknowledged this past Friday evening about losing the lower chamber, echoing the same sentiments many strategists and lawmakers have been forecasting for the past year. It is typical enough that the party of the President will take a hit at the midterms.

On the other side of the country, in Atlanta, Georgia, voters waited in line for almost two hours to cast ballots, according to local media reports.

According to Michael McDonald of the US Elections Project, 38.4 million Americans cast their ballots early this time compared with 27.4 million in the 2014 midterm. Also, more said they showed up at the polls to express opposition than did those who said they were casting a ballot to support him. Exit polls showed that 64 percent of voters said Trump was a reason for their vote.

During a six-day blitz to wrap up the campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly raised fears about immigrants, issuing harsh warnings about a caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico toward the United States border. Several television networks, including the president's favorite Fox News Channel, yanked a Trump campaign advertisement off the air on the eve of the election, determining that its portrayal of a murderous immigrant went too far.

Voter turnout could be the highest for a midterm election in 50 years, experts predicted.

Also in the Senate, Wisconsin Sen. That is the question confronting several GOP incumbents, including New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance. Bob Menendez, who, less than a year ago, stood trial for federal corruption charges.

In trying to stem Republican losses, Trump made only passing reference to his $1.5 trillion tax cut - the GOP Congress' signature achievement - and instead barnstormed through mostly white regions of the country, interjecting dark and foreboding warnings.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House were up for re-election, although fewer than 90 were considered competitive. All three and Sherrod Brown, a pro-labor senator victorious in OH, are considered potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

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Trump was spending Election Day at the White House and tweeting support for Republicans in the toughest races. Among those expected: Vice President Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to the president. But Congress could not remove him from office without a conviction by a two-thirds majority in the Republican-controlled Senate.

In the broader fight for control in the Trump era, the political and practical stakes on Tuesday were sky high.

Trump himself has been campaigning non-stop in recent days, telling voters they must keep Democrats from taking back control of the House and Senate, or his agenda could be in jeopardy. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns. Heidi Heitkamp has been trailing Republican Kevin Cramer in North Dakota's Senate race.

Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins said polling places are open despite power outages Tuesday morning in some areas of Middle and East Tennessee.

That doesn't count the 6,066 state legislative races across 46 states and 158 ballot measures in 37 states. Democrats are relying more upon women, people of color, young people and college graduates. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the former Bernie Sanders organizer who won an upset primary victory over a senior House Democrat, will also head to Congress.

The demographic divides were coloring the political landscape in different ways.

Over three quarters of voters think Americans are becoming more politically divided.

Democrats faced a far more hard challenge in the Senate, where they were nearly exclusively on defense in rural states where Trump remains popular.

The party were most optimistic about the House, a sprawling battlefield set largely in America's suburbs where more educated and affluent voters in both parties have soured on Mr Trump's turbulent presidency, despite the strength of the national economy.

Democrats boasted record diversity on ballots.

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