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USA mid-term elections 2018: Americans vote in 'poll of a lifetime'
08 November 2018, 11:17 | Glen Norman
USA mid-term elections 2018: Americans vote in 'poll of a lifetime'
A surge in early voting, fuelled by a focus on Trump's nationalistic, norms-breaking presidency by supporters of both parties, could signal the highest turnout in 50 years for a midterm United States election when the White House is not on the line.
The first national elections since Mr Trump captured the White House in a 2016 upset have become a referendum on the polarising president, and a test of whether Democrats can turn the energy of the liberal anti-Trump resistance into victories at the ballot box.
The Democratic Party fell short of expectations but managed to take control of the US House of Representatives. "His actions, his verbage, he's clearly the focal point", said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, which has poured millions into certain races this cycle to help preserve the Republican majority. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Republican Josh Hawley defeating Democratic Sen.
NBC's long-running "Saturday Night Live" has never been shy about making fun of Democrats along with Republicans. Still, she was within striking distance in a Lexington-area district Trump won by 15 percentage points in 2016.
In Virginia's 7th District, a Republican-leaning area near Richmond, Republican Rep. Dave Brat was in a tight race with Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer.
Those House races, along with several others in states where polls had closed, were being watched for insights into whether Trump can push forward with his agenda unimpeded or find himself restrained by a Democratic-controlled House.
Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez won a third Senate term in New Jersey, despite a federal bribery indictment that prosecutors dropped this year after a mistrial. The incumbent was reprimanded by a Senate ethics panel after corruption charges were dismissed following a mistrial, turning a what should have been a sure bet for Democrats into a close fight.
As polls begin to close, the White House is stressing the effort President Donald Trump put into a political ground game aimed at putting Republicans in the win column for Tuesday's midterm elections. It was just the second midterm election in over three decades when the party holding the White House gained seats.
Overall, however, Republicans seem much more optimistic about keeping the Senate than the House.
In the Senate, which is made up of 100 seats, 35 seats are up for election. Almost two-thirds of those voters said Mr. Trump was a factor. 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.
"Today, we say enough" - Trump has boasted about the economy and hammered away at illegal immigration in the closing days of the campaign as he seeks to hold onto a majority in Congress and push his legislative agenda. "The president has energized a staggering number of Americans at packed arenas and in overflow crowds at rallies across the country".
The outcome of the mid-term elections, which take place halfway through a four-year presidential term, could completely change the composition of both chambers.
Just 42 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 2014 congressional midterm elections, the lowest turnout since at least 1964, according to the US Census Bureau.
Election workers Mark Bezanson, left, and Julie Olson dump ballots collected earlier in the day from drop boxes onto a table for sorting at the King County Elections office, Monday, November 5, 2018, in Renton, Washington.
Republicans are defending 41 open or vacant House seats on Tuesday, compared with 22 defended by Democrats.
As Election Day unfolded, Democrats were increasingly confident, predicting a House majority on the strength of voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates. Another top California Democratic representative, Adam Schiff, would likely rise to chair the House Intelligence Committee, where he is now the ranking member.
Democrats turned out to register disapproval of Trump's divisive rhetoric and policies on such issues as immigration and his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz fended off a spirited challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, and Republican Sen. The survey is separate from the traditional exit polls for the television networks.
Yet Trump's party will maintain Senate control for the next two years, at least. About a quarter supported him and nearly 40% said their vote was in opposition to the President. He said since Trump has been president, he 's hired two more employees for his six-person company.
"Trump is improving the economy - that's the most important thing for me", Rivera said. Control of the U.S. House will depend on the effectiveness of the spillover from the President's message to suburban women voters in districts where he did not campaign. It may have been effective, however, in largely rural states where he remains popular and where the closest Senate races played out. Other records were also falling. According to data compiled by The Associated Press, 237 women ran for the House as major-party candidates this year.
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But she added: "A Democratic Congress will work for solutions that bring us together, because we have all had enough of division". Despite his party losing the House, Trump wrote on Twitter , "Tremendous success tonight".