Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump views midterms through presidency-defining lens

Trump views midterms through presidency-defining lens

But blue-collar voters and rural America embraced his aggressive talk and stances.

Republicans are expected to retain their slight majority in the US Senate, now at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve US Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes.

But the Democrats' edge is narrow.

Democrats are favoured by election forecasters to pick up the minimum of 23 House seats they need for a majority, which would enable them to stymie Trump's legislative agenda and investigate his administration.

A Democrat-controlled House was expected to pursue anti-corruption and voter-rights legislation, and hold multiple investigations on controversial aspects of the Trump administration, not least being allegations of collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation.

GOP Whip Steve Scalise said the president's rallies were building momentum, and with the economy a selling point, he predicted his party would retain a slim majority.

If Democrats are able to flip either, it will have major implications for Trump's agenda over the next two years. It wasn't clear what "leaks" he was referring to.

But with the party leading the House, Trump would be forced to compromise more - or risk presiding over an ever more divided country.

According to Michael McDonald of U.S. Election Project - which tracks election turnout - 38.8 million Americans cast their ballots ahead of the Election Day, surpassing the 27.4 million in the 2014 midterms.

The GOP's successes were fueled by a coalition that's decidedly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have college degrees.

Democrats boast record diversity on the ballot.

While men with military backgrounds have always been recruited to run for office, this year's candidates include several female veterans.

The mid-terms will decide which party will control the two houses of Congress.

Thirty-six of the 50 U.S. states elect governors this year, including about 10 considered toss-ups.

Much will depend on how Trump reacts to what is undeniable a rebuke from voters two years into a presidency that has unfolded in institutional chaos, torn at racial and cultural divides and often trampled on truth and facts.

For Democrats, a scenario where Republicans keep both chambers would be transformative, particularly given their confidence going into the election.

Democrats celebrated a handful of victories in their "blue wall" Midwestern states, electing or re-electing governors in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker was defeated by state education chief Tony Evers. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been crisscrossing the country for months raising money and campaigning for Republicans.

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But this year, women ran for office in unprecedented numbers, mostly as Democrats and many as first-time candidates.

Republicans have had control of the House of Representatives since the 2010 midterms during Barack Obama's first term as president.

Semiconductors have fared better than any other industry group, even though they are highly exposed to China and could become casualties in Trump's trade war with Beijing.

In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids beat a GOP incumbent to become one of two Native American women, with Deb Haaland of New Mexico, elected to the House. In a tweet Wednesday, he referred to the election results as a "Big Victory".

At least 64 House races remain competitive, according to a Reuters analysis of the three top nonpartisan forecasters, and Senate control was expected to come down to a half dozen close contests in Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Florida.

Some hurt worse than others.

Analysts expect pressure on stocks if Democrats gain control of the House and a sharper downward reaction if they win the Senate, too.

What's more, there have been far fewer statewide and district-specific surveys than in past midterm elections.

Overall, 6 in 10 voters said the country was headed in the wrong direction, but roughly that same number described the national economy as excellent or good.

Over the past two decades, the highest turnout for women during a midterm election occurred in 2006, when almost 45 percent voted.

In a last-minute controversy, NBC, Fox News and Facebook on Monday pulled an ad by Trump's campaign that critics have labelled racist.

Mr Kemp looks to defend his party's control of a state Democrats believe could be a presidential battleground in 2020.

Acknowledging the stakes in the closing days of campaigning, Mr Trump stressed to voters that everything was on the line.

The president's current job approval, set at 40 percent by Gallup, was the lowest mark of any first-term president in the modern era.

Midterm elections are typically hard for the party in power, but the GOP's hold on power was further weakened by an unusually large number of retirements as well as infighting between conservatives and centrists over their allegiance to Trump.

Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden called on Americans to use their votes to reject Trump.

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