Thursday, 15 November, 2018


Trump, Obama tout clashing visions of USA as midterm elections near

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Conrad Doyle | 06 November, 2018, 13:40

The bellwether state of Florida, with hotly contested races for governor and a Senate seat, has seen record-high early voting totals ahead of Election Day.

Trump also rejected criticism from some Republicans that his immigration rhetoric was turning off the moderate voters they need to win the House. Around 30 races considered tossups by the Cook Political Report are still "startlingly close", according to interviews carried out by the Times and Siena College.

The party holding the White House has lost seats in the House in all but two elections in modern history. The Republican Party is defending dozens of seats in largely suburban districts where Trump's popularity has languished and Democrats have performed well in presidential races.

The election also will be the unofficial kickoff to the 2020 White House race, as Democrats like U.S. Sen.

All day, Americans will head to the polls to cast their vote in the midterm elections.

Democrats hope to elect a record number of women to Congress.

For Democrats, the midterm elections have been a beacon in the dark, a chance to re-emerge from the political wilderness and repudiate a president they view as a risky force.

"We're taking care of ourselves for a change, folks", Trump said at a rally in Houston on October 22. Forecasting website FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats an 88 per cent chance to win the House, Republicans an 81 per cent chance to keep the Senate.

Current polls suggests at least five of the six might "flip" into the Democratic column Tuesday. "There's a chance to try and win them back over". Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, in North Dakota.

Such victories would build momentum behind the party's shift toward a new generation of candidates who are younger, more diverse, with greater numbers of women and more liberal than Democratic leadership. Bloomberg photo by Aaron P. Bernstein.

What it would mean: This would be a clear repudiation of Trump, and there would be no other way to spin it.

How it would happen: This would be the really big wave - and it's not inconceivable. In the Senate, Republicans could still approve federal judges and Trump Supreme Court nominees, but if they want to get any big legislation done they're going to have to negotiate with Democrats in the House, and possibly a Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Republicans have commanding majorities in both chambers.

Beyond the vegan meatballs and "Medicare For All" T-shirts, there was something else notable at a Democratic rally last week in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland: direct, no-holds-barred condemnation of the president.

The outcome is clouded by the dramatically different landscape between the House and Senate.

Other areas of oversight could include probing allegations of waste and fraud within the administration (think former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's spending and former HHS Secretary Tom Price's use of private planes), foreign contacts during the 2016 campaign and the Trump Organization and family members' finances. FiveThirtyEight has them at a 1-in-8 shot. Their beliefs on subjects like immigration are already priced in to some extent too, of course, but the more Trump can drive up the fear factor, the more he might convince some populist stragglers to take an hour to go to the polls.

"You'll start to see questions being asked about how taxpayer dollars are being wasted, how the government is being used as a piggy bank for the Trump family", Klain says. It could result in states such as Nevada or even Arizona staying under GOP control and deliver states like Florida, Indiana, Missouri and Montana. Panelo, the son of a Mexican immigrant, said migrants shouldn't be demonized, but he stopped short of criticizing the president, and plans to vote for Republican candidates who could help push Trump's agenda.

When Blackburn took the stage briefly, she told supporters, "If you want to vote no to Hillary Clinton and her cronies one more time, stand with me". But the fact is we know how well we're doing with the economy. It wouldn't necessarily be a resounding affirmation of Trump - these are only red states the GOP would be winning - but it would lead to some real, justified soul-searching.

"Who we are is on the ballot", Mr. Obama said. Numerous races are rated toss-ups, and close results may be subjected to run-offs or recounts.

Overall, the average importance rating across the 12 issues for Democrats, including Democratic-leaning independents, is 73%, compared with an average rating of 61% for Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

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