US voters decide control of Congress and Biden’s midterm agenda
Americans cast the final ballots Tuesday in a hotly contested election that will determine whether Democrats lose control of Congress, and with it the ability to advance President Joe Biden’s agenda over the next two years. The party that controls the White House usually loses seats in midterm elections. Polls suggest Tuesday’s results will be no exception, as worries about high inflation and crime, as highlighted by Republicans, outweigh warnings from Democrats about an end to the nation’s abortion law. and the January 6, 2021 violent assault on the US Capitol.
Thirty-five seats in the Senate and 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs. Republicans are heavily favored to clinch the five seats they need to control the House, while the Senate – currently split 50-50 with Democrats holding the deciding vote – could come down to a quartet of tossed races in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona. Even before the end of the midterm elections, the presidential election of 2024 was taking shape. Former President Donald Trump on Monday sent his strongest hint yet that he would soon launch his third consecutive White House campaign, telling supporters in Ohio he would make a “big announcement” on the 15th november.
He didn’t specify what that would be, but he did telegraph his intention to run again shortly after losing his 2020 re-election bid to Biden. Hundreds of supporters of Trump’s false claims that his loss was due to widespread fraud are on the ballot this year, including several seeking positions that would give them direct control of the 2024 presidential elections in competitive states. .
Reflecting the country’s deep political divide, Henry Bowden, a lawyer from the wealthy Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, said he voted for a mix of Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday. He voted for Republicans Brian Kemp for Governor and Brad Raffensperger for Secretary of State and Democrats Raphael Warnock for the US Senate and Jen Jordan for Attorney General. “I was very divided,” said Bowden, 36, who describes himself as a moderate Republican. “I was really trying not to vote for any of the Republicans who are too much into Trump’s pocket and all the election denial stuff. I was very tired of that.”
More than 42 million Americans voted before Election Day, either by mail or in person, according to data from the US Election Project. At the start of Election Day, a senior US cybersecurity official said there were “no specific or credible threats” to disrupt election infrastructure.
State election officials warn full results may not be known for days as they count ballots in close races – US Senate control may not be known until a possible runoff on the 6th December in Georgia. There are 36 gubernatorial races, including campaigns in the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.
In Congress, a Republican-controlled House would be able to block bills addressing Democratic priorities such as abortion rights and climate change. Republicans could also launch a showdown over the country’s debt ceiling, which could rattle financial markets, and launch investigations into the administration and Biden’s family. Republicans will have the power to block aid to Ukraine if they regain control of Congress, but analysts say they are more likely to slow or reduce the flow of defense and economic aid.
A Republican Senate would dominate Biden’s judicial nominations, including any Supreme Court vacancies, heightening the spotlight on the increasingly conservative court. FINAL PUSH
Some Democratic candidates deliberately walked away from the White House as Biden’s popularity languished. On Monday, the final day of campaigning, Biden headed to Democratic-leaning Maryland, rather than a swing state. “It’s Election Day, America. Raise your voice today. Vote,” Biden, who voted in early voting in Delaware, said in a Twitter post Tuesday morning.
Trump is due to vote in Florida later on Tuesday. The Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a national abortion right, galvanized Democratic voters across the country, temporarily raising hopes among Democrats that they could defy history.
But in the final weeks of the campaign, forecasters have grown more confident Republicans will win a majority in the House, flipping perhaps 20 or more seats. Despite one of the strongest labor markets in memory, the stubborn rise in prices has left voters dissatisfied, helped by Republicans’ attacks on gas and food prices, as well as on crime.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll this week showed more than two-thirds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, with just 39% approving of the way Biden has done his job. Trump’s poll is also weak, with just 41% of respondents to a separate recent Reuters/Ipsos poll saying they view him favorably. The prognosis has left some Democrats questioning the party’s campaign message, centered on protecting abortion rights and American democracy.
“What we’ve seen over the past month is that the political gravity is starting to reassert itself,” said Jacob Rubashkin, an analyst at nonpartisan forecaster Inside Elections. “Voters care a lot about the economy and they blame Biden for inflation.” Biden and other Democrats have sounded the alarm over Republican candidates who echoed or refused to contradict Trump’s false claims that he lost the 2020 election due to widespread fraud.
The prevalence of Holocaust deniers among Republican candidates has elevated downhill races that typically receive little attention, including contests for secretary of state, the top election official in most states. In swing states such as Nevada, Arizona and Michigan, Republican candidates leading the state electoral apparatus have embraced Trump’s lies, prompting Democrats to fear that if they win, they will could interfere with the 2024 presidential race.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)