Election Day sees the end of a gruelling, costly fight for House and Senate majorities, and for governor’s mansions across the United States. Here are some of the most important aspects of the race.
• Voters nationwide head to the polls in Tuesday's pivotal midterm elections and decide the balance of power in Congress between Democrats and Republicans.
• By numbers, 35 Senate seats, 36 gubernatorial seats and 435 House seats are up for grabs today
• President Trump, in an exclusive interview with FOX News on Monday, urged voters to support Republicans so that he could continue his legislative agenda and insisted the success of his administration would unite a divided country
• Midterm elections are widely seen as a referendum on President Trump’s tenure: a deeply polarized electorate will choose a new House, one-third of the Senate, and governors in states that will be crucial to the 2020 presidential campaign.
• Democrats have been working toward this day since the moment President Trump was sworn in. They have waited two long years for the shot to win enough seats in Congress to cripple the 45th president’s agenda.
• Republicans currently control 33 governorships, with Democrats holding 16. But with 36 seats up this year, Democrats are likely to pick up at least some seats. Republicans are favoured to control at least 22 seats by the end of the night and Democrats are favoured have at least 20 seats, with 8 additional toss-up races.
• According to experts, the elections will go one of three ways: Republicans hold both chambers, Democrats take the majority in both, or the parties split the House and Senate. Either of the latter two scenarios would be problematic for Trump, immediately putting a damper on his agenda.
• Democrats need to win 23 more House seats and 2 more Senate seats to take control of each chamber from the Republicans.
• Trump held final campaign rallies on Monday in the Midwest, and former President Barack Obama was in Virginia
• The first polls to close on Tuesday are in Kentucky and Indiana
• A record number of female candidates are running for office in this election.
• President Trump’s supporters and opponents tend to differ on issues like immigration, guns and the courts. However, they also increasingly disagree on what it means to be patriotic.
• Most experts expect Democrats to take the House. They need to flip 23 seats.
The expectations that Democrats are substantial favourites for House control and could pick up anywhere from 20 to 40 seats, while Republicans to hold the Senate. They could pad their 51-49 majority with an extra seat or two.
• More expected is that Democrats are likely to win big in key governors’ races. Potential wins in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan would be a balm if Democrats lose the House.
• If Democrats win the majority in the House, Nancy Pelosi will return as speaker, and we will see a record number of women in congress.
• If Democrats win the House , they will reopen a House Russia probe, seek Trump’s tax returns and investigate Trump’s business. They will try to stop repealing the Obamacare programme.
• If Democrats win the House, they cannot stymie Trump Foreign Policy, so the Iran sanctions will remain, the China trade war will continue, the tariffs will continue and talks with North Korea will continue. One exception will be a possible bipartisan cooperation in congress on additional Russia sanctions
• Markets will be ok with a Democratic takeover as investors generally like gridlock in a split decision because it means Democrats will be unable to roll back tax cuts or reinstate key parts of financial regulation