Last Rasmussen Poll: GOP House Chances Looking Up

Reuters FILE

Reuters FILE

A turbulent election season that tested President Donald Trump's slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era on Tuesday.

Historically, though, Republicans are more reliable voters in midterm elections. Some observers have taken that as a sign that he's largely written off any hope of retaining the House. The US leader also acknowledged the significance of the midterm elections for his presidency.

During an election-eve rally in Cleveland on Monday, President Trump claimed that mid-term elections, which used to be "boring", have now become the "hottest thing" because of him, attributing voter turnout and media attention to his presidency. He added: "The Democrat agenda is a socialist nightmare".

Trump tweeted last month: "Republicans will protect people with pre-existing conditions far better than the Dems!"

"The biggest worry for the White House in terms of re-election is making sure they have a Republican governor in Florida and OH because it just makes organizing those states all the easier", he said. "It's an awakening of the Democratic Party".

"There's 23 seats, and if they can flip just a little bit more than 23 seats, Democrats will wrangle control from the Republicans", Chaffetz said. Even with the economy humming, they no longer made the case that the rich need more money and the poor less.

Since the midterm elections start on Tuesday, Trump is giving three speeches around the country as part of his final crunch to motivate voter turnout.

"Democratic voters are usually less likely to turn out", Ratcliff said.

"Trump has hijacked the election". Democrats are relying more upon women, people of colour, young people and college graduates.

Three states could elect their first African-American governors, while several others are running LGBT candidates and Muslims.

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All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs, as well as 35 Senate seats. "They worked very hard to avoid what was widely viewed as the mistake of 2016, which was to be seen as too anti-Trump".

In Georgia, Democrat Stacy Abrams would become the first black woman to be elected governor in USA history if she defeats Republican Brian Kemp. The demographic shifts also reflect each party's closing argument.

During his final campaign rallies in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri, Mr Trump returned to his key campaigning issues, including insisting that Democrats would damage the economy and allow more illegal immigration.

The president spoke to reporters on the airport tarmac here alongside Donnelly's opponent, Republican Mike Braun, ensuring he would get his picture on TV and in the papers.

Democrats, meanwhile, have beat their drum on health care. In Virginia, former President Barack Obama told Democratic campaign volunteers that "the character of this country is on the ballot".

But winning the popular vote will not necessarily be enough - just ask Hillary Clinton, who beat Trump by nearly three million votes but still lost the 2016 election.

"This first midterm, at this check-in moment, to have these different forces converge in different ways, to have the different loud landscape for the House and the Senate".

Republicans control the House and the Senate as well as the presidency, giving them total law-making power in Washington DC. A federal court threw out this attempt in Georgia, allegedly a planned effort by Republican candidate for the post of governor, its current secretary of state Brian Kemp. Democrats would gain the power to thwart Republicans' legislative agenda, launch investigations into Trump's activities, subpoena his officials, obtain his tax returns, and, possibly, to impeach him at some point in the future.

What has President Trump being saying?

"The fact we still have a narrow path to a majority is a sea change from where we were two years ago", he said on ABC. "I think he's preying upon people's fears". Evangelical Christians are also a key constituency, seen to be happy with Mr Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence over their pro-life conservatism and the President's shifting of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

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