Americans go to polls for midterm elections

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A sharply divided USA electorate heads to the polls Tuesday to elect a new Congress and to render a midterm verdict on President Donald Trump. Trump faces potentially debilitating fallout should Republicans lose control of one or both chambers in Congress, ending two years of GOP hegemony in Washington.

Winning control of the House would allow the Democrats to block Republican policies, launch investigations into Trump's administration and instigate impeachment proceedings. "Trump has hijacked the election", one senior House Republican aide tells Politico.

At an earlier rally in Ohio Trump said: "The Democrat agenda is a socialist nightmare for our country".

The president has vowed to continue pushing for significant funding for a border wall, which Republicans may feel more comfortable with backing if voters hand them power again. He added: "The Democrat agenda is a socialist nightmare".

The Senate is a different story.

Although voter participation has traditionally been lower in midterm elections, which are held every four years and do not change the presidency, early voting surged and voter enthusiasm was high.

Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to suppress turnout among racial minorities in states like Georgia, where Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is overseeing his own election.

Should Democrats take the House, they will be able to block party-line legislation and chair several critical committees with appropriations and subpoena power, making it hard for the president to unilaterally decide what priorities to fund, and opening him and his aides to investigation on countless fronts.

The closest Senate races to watch are in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and West Virginia - five of which feature sitting Democratic senators seeking reelection.

Republicans hold the slimmest of majorities there but most of the Senate seats up for grabs are already held by Democrats and they may struggle to retain all of them.

Democrats need 23 seats to take the House.

Trump is also hammering away at the anxieties of women voters. Along with these, a host of local posts are also up for elections in various states. If Gillum wins and becomes Florida's first black governor, it would be another sign that the tide is turning against US Pthe president, who won the state of Florida in 2016. "It's an awakening of the Democratic Party".

Polls show Democrats have a strong chance of retaking the House on Tuesday, but they shouldn't open the champagne yet-even if they do win, it could take weeks to be confirmed, according to a New York Times analysis. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

Democrats during the 2016 demanded Trump release his tax returns.

If ever there was an off-year election for younger voters to break tradition, this is it.

Bottom line: I think polls that say the Democrats will do well on Election Day are wrong, unless there's a hidden dissatisfaction with money issues. There won't be much room for error on controversial bills, but keeping the Republican conference all on the same page could be a big task for leaders.

Democrats boast record diversity on the ballot. "The Democrats will do quite well in the House of Representatives, in the governorships and state legislatures".

The GOP now has 51 Senate seats compared to the Democrats' 49.

Their votes are crucial to Democratic hopes to retake the Senate and sweep to victory in the House.

"We'll see tomorrow" what happens, Trump said on the tarmac in Fort Wayne. The writer, being a woman political journalist from India, now transplanted to the United States, is in a unique position to observe the three aspects that are critical to defining this presidency: chauvinism, gunslinger politics, and immigration.

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