WASHINGTON – Millions of Americans will head to the polls to elect lawmakers and officials in the midterm elections on Tuesday.
Republicans are favored for a narrow majority in the House, but the Senate, where each party currently controls just 50 seats, is more of a toss-up.
A Republican majority in either house would hamper many of the domestic policy goals for the remainder of President Joe Biden’s term.
The midterm elections are held in a grim mood in the country amid high inflation and gasoline prices, and voters are wildly divided even on issues they deem important.
Inflation is the top concern in national polls for voters of both parties, but violent crime and immigration consistently rank among the top concerns for Republicans, but not for Democrats.
Democrats, meanwhile, have been boosted by backlash over a June Supreme Court ruling that ended women’s constitutional rights to abortion.
Concerns about gun control, climate change, and the country’s democratic future are also motivating Democratic voters.
Pollster John Zogby said the political division was one of “two different parties, two different issues, two different realities, and two different facts supporting those realities.” .
“It’s like two planets orbiting the sun, in separate orbits,” he told reporters at an online event last week.
With just over a third of the Senate seats in dispute this time around (35 out of 100 seats), each party needs one more seat to gain control.
Fierce competition in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and possibly Wisconsin is key to Senate control.
Both are states where Mr. Biden won the 2020 presidential election, but his approval ratings have fallen in recent months and may be hurting Democrats.
The seats currently held by Republicans in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are also harder for Democrats.
History is also on the Republican side, with the president’s party usually losing seats in the midterm elections.
Governors of 36 states and many other local officials will also run for election on Tuesday.
The campaign has taken on an existential tone, with a final stretch from Biden and other prominent Democrats such as former President Barack Obama warning of threats to the future of democracy if the Republicans win. rice field.
Biden appeared alongside Obama at a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, warning that Republicans were “literally targeting Social Security and Medicare.”
Elsewhere in the state, former President Donald Trump, at a Latrobe rally, accused “radical Democrats” of America’s downfall and said, “If you want to stop the destruction of this country, you have to do it in a giant red wave.” I have to vote Republican at the moment,” he said.
Cook Political Report Editor-in-Chief Amy Walter said last week at a Council on Foreign Relations webinar on the midterm elections, “Every election feels more existential.
“Rather than saying, ‘Let’s show our support for a candidate who has just been elected president,’ we should say, ‘We are defending our democracy — we are defending America. Even if the other side gains a foothold, , will destroy everything we know,” she added.
Trump has also continued to falsely claim to have won the 2020 election, a hot issue for his supporters, and has repeatedly hinted at a 2024 White House run. .
Not all results will be known on Tuesday night, and Georgia’s Senate election could turn into a runoff if the race gets close enough.
Experts also warn of potential political violence from domestic extremists in the coming weeks, especially for politicians and elected workers.
Mr Zogby said: It’s close. The battle over the issue continues. It all depends on voter turnout.”
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/congress-control-hangs-in-balance-as-american-voters-head-to-ballot-boxes Congressional control is out of balance as American voters head to the ballot box