What's at stake on Novem­ber 6 in the U.S. midterm elec­tions

Watchmen Daily Journal - - World -

WASH­ING­TON, DC, USA – Amer­i­cans head to the polls on Tues­day, Novem­ber 6 (Novem­ber 7, PHL time), for midterm elec­tions with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's Repub­li­can party seek­ing to re­tain con­trol of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the Se­nate.

Midterm elec­tions are of­ten seen as a ref­er­en­dum on the pres­i­dent and there is no short­age of opin­ions this time around about the cur­rent oc­cu­pant of the White House.

Turnout for midterm elec­tions is tra­di­tion­ally lower than in pres­i­den­tial years, but the re­sults could have dra­matic im­pli­ca­tions for the United States, and in par­tic­u­lar for Trump's leg­isla­tive agenda.

Repub­li­cans are brac­ing for a likely loss of seats in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives but are fa­vored to hold on to the Se­nate.

House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives

The House has 435 mem­bers with states rep­re­sented on the ba­sis of pop­u­la­tion. There are cur­rently 236 Repub­li­cans, 193 Democrats and six va­can­cies.

All seats are con­tested ev­ery two years. The new con­gres­sional term be­gins in Jan­uary 2019.

Repub­li­cans have con­trolled the House since the con­ser­va­tive Tea Party move­ment pro­pelled the GOP to a wave elec­tion in Novem­ber 2010.

The speaker of the house is Repub­li­can Paul Ryan, who is not seek­ing re­elec­tion from his home state of Wis­con­sin. Demo­crat and for­mer speaker Nancy Pelosi serves as House mi­nor­ity leader.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to take con­trol of the House.

Likely House out­come: Democrats take con­trol.

Se­nate

The Se­nate con­sists of 100 mem­bers, two from each state. It is cur­rently made up of 51 Repub­li­cans and 49 Democrats.

With terms of six years, about a third of the Se­nate is up for elec­tion ev­ery two years. Thir­ty­five seats are in play in Tues­day's elec­tion.

Of the 35 seats up for grabs, 26 are held by Democrats and nine by Repub­li­cans.

The Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader is Mitch McCon­nell of Ken­tucky.

Likely Se­nate out­come: Repub­li­cans hold on to the Se­nate.

Gover­nor races

Thirty-six of the 50 US states elect gov­er­nors this year, in­clud­ing about 10 con­sid­ered toss-ups.

Repub­li­cans cur­rently con­trol 29 gov­er­nor­ships to 21 for the Democrats.

Two races which are of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est are Ge­or­gia, where Demo­crat Stacey Abrams is seek­ing to be­come the first black woman to be­come gover­nor of a US state, and Florida, where Demo­crat An­drew Gil­lum is locked in a bit­ter bat­tle with Repub­li­can and Trump acolyte Ron DeSan­tis.

Bal­lot mea­sures

In ad­di­tion to elect­ing their law­mak­ers, Amer­i­cans in sev­eral states will vote on bal­lot mea­sures.

Among ini­tia­tives:

• Five states are con­sid­er­ing the le­gal­iza­tion of med­i­cal or recre­ational mar­i­juana. • Min­i­mum wage in­creases are on the bal­lot in two states. • Ac­cess to abor­tion and abor­tion fund­ing is on the bal­lot in three states. the no­table

The stakes

Be­sides stymieing the Trump agenda, a Demo­cratic vic­tory in the House could al­low Democrats to launch mul­ti­ple com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion and pos­si­bly even im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings.

Voter turnout

Around 37% of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers took part in the 2014 midterm elec­tions, down from 42% in 2010.

More than 60% of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers took part in the 2016 vote, when the pres­i­den­tial race was on the bal­lot.

(Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at­tends a cam­paign rally at Mid­dle Ge­or­gia Re­gional Air­port in Ma­con, Ge­or­gia, US Sun­day.

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