Polls closing as voters pit Trump strength against resistance of Democrats

  • Polls closing as voters pit Trump strength against resistance of Democrats

Polls closing as voters pit Trump strength against resistance of Democrats

The first polls have been closing across the USA in one of the most closely watched midterm congressional elections in living memory, which are likely to be seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump's administration.

In the Senate, Republicans are favored to maintain control, and Democrats must pick up two seats to win a majority. The party's task was much more hard in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority but Democrats are defending 10 seats in states won by the president two years ago.

Trump, who watched the midterm election returns with family and friends at the White House Tuesday evening, settled into a brief role as spectator, after months of campaigning for Republican congressional and gubernatorial candidates.

"Democrats, if they're going to win tonight and if they're going to win in 2020, have to have an affirmative, positive agenda, having nothing to do with President Donald Trump", Goodstein said.

Still, nearly 7 in 10 said the economy was in good shape, and those who said their personal finances were in better shape now than two years ago outnumbered those who believed their finances were worse off, according to the polling.

Republicans "have actually brought the change", she said.

According to Michael McDonald of the US Elections Project, 38.4 million Americans cast their ballots early this time compared with 27.4 million in the 2014 midterm. "The press is very much considering it a referendum on me and us as a movement".

While the economy continues to thrive, Trump has spent much of the campaign's final days railing against a caravan of Latin American immigrants seeking asylum at the USA border. If Democrats are on fire, this is also the hour when the bottom could fall out for Republicans, and the House majority could be called.

Tuesday's elections also test the strength of a Trump-era political realignment defined by evolving divisions among voters by race, gender and especially education. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

The president asserted that if Democrats win, they will work to roll back everything he's tried to accomplish during his first two years as president.

Trump's Republican coalition is increasingly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree. Like other Democrats across the country, Spanberger emphasized protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more by insurers. A CBS News exit poll offers some clues.

Some Democrats think that Trump-bashing is not enough of a platform to stand on, however.

Abrams is running in a Republican state against Trump-backed candidate Brian Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state, who cast himself as a "politically incorrect" hard-line immigration candidate like the president.

Democrats got good news early, as a number of early seats in Virginia and Kentucky flipped blue on Tuesday night.

The outcome is clouded by the dramatically different landscape between the House and Senate.

The first polling stations closed at 6:00 pm Eastern time (2300 GMT) in parts of Kentucky and in - where Democrats are struggling to hold a crucial Senate seat in a state won by Trump two years ago. From 6 p.m.to 7 p.m., insiders will have their eyes on Lexington, where Republican incumbent Andy Barr is up against Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, a retired Marine.

"In this cycle, it seemed as if there was a disproportionately negative reaction among highly educated voters to Trump", he said.

"In 2010 ... it was more about did you agree or disagree with Obamacare?" he recalled.

Phillips noted that, while this is frequently the case, the focus seems to be more on rhetoric this time than on policy.

Outside Richmond, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat faced an unusually strong challenge from Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act.