MARIETTA, Georgia/LANSING, Michigan, Nov 7 (Reuters) – A day before midterm elections that could usher in a new era of divided government in Washington, President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump will hold competing rallies in a last effort to mobilize supporters.
Biden, who has avoided campaigning in several swing states amid lagging popular approval, will reliably travel to Democratic Maryland on Monday, where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore is widely expected to win back the job. governor held by the Republicans.
“We have one more night to do everything we can to win,” Biden told fellow Democrats in the White House.
Trump is heading to Ohio to campaign alongside Republican Senate candidate JD Vance, who emerged from a crowded field of candidates thanks to Trump’s endorsement. Trump has repeatedly hinted that he plans to launch another presidential race soon.
Weighed down by voter frustration over rising prices, Biden’s Democrats fear Tuesday’s election will see them lose control of one or both houses of Congress.
Nonpartisan election forecasters predicted Monday that Republicans would need to win about 25 seats in the House of the 435 seats, more than enough to win a majority.
It would spell the end of Biden’s efforts to win abortion protections, family leave and other Democratic priorities through Congress. It would also open the door to two years of Republican-led investigations that could potentially damage the White House. A Republican-led Senate could also block Biden’s judicial or administrative appointments.
Billionaire Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter and vow to loosen the reins on who can say what on the platform has led to speculation he could spark a wave of misinformation, tweeted on Monday that the ” Independent-minded voters “should vote for a Republican Congress” because shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties.
If Republicans win a majority in the House, they plan to use the federal debt ceiling as leverage to demand deep spending cuts. They would also seek to make Trump’s 2017 individual tax cuts permanent and protect the corporate tax cuts that Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to reverse for the past two years.
Control from Capitol Hill would give Republicans the power to block aid to Ukraine, but they are more likely to slow or reduce the flow of arms and economic aid to Kyiv than to stop it.
DEMOCRACY ON THE ELECTION?
Biden warned that a Republican victory could weaken the foundations of American democracy itself.
Many Republican candidates have echoed Trump’s baseless fraud allegations during his 2020 election defeat. Some of them could become governors or election administrators in battleground states and play central roles in the race. presidential election in 2024.
Trump supporters, spurred on by his false election claims, threatened and harassed poll workers and voters. The US Department of Justice said it would monitor voting in 64 locations across the country.
But the White House said Monday that law enforcement has not reported any specific and credible election-related threats.
With tight control of the House and Senate, Biden’s Democrats have helped him deliver on campaign promises to boost clean energy, fight the COVID-19 pandemic and increase infrastructure spending.
But soaring inflation and concerns about high crime have led many voters to mistrust his leadership. Only 39% of Americans approve of his professional performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.
Republicans say Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package and clean energy efforts have driven prices up. They also campaigned on lingering resentment over COVID-related restrictions imposed during the pandemic to stem the spread of the disease.
“I will not close your churches and I will never mask you again,” Kari Lake, a Republican running for governor of Arizona, said at a rally.
Democrats campaigned for abortion rights, counting on a backlash to a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that ended nationwide abortion protections. Voters in five states will consider abortion-related initiatives on Tuesday.
“I think it should be up to everyone to decide what to do,” said Chris Gunston, 60, who voted for a proposal to protect Michigan’s franchise alongside Democratic candidates on the ballot. voting there.
More than 43 million Americans have already voted, either in person or by mail, according to the US Elections Project, which tracks early voting.
Experts say it may be days or weeks before the outcome of some close races – and congressional scrutiny – is clear.
So far, the polling issues have not been widely reported.
In Georgia, home to one of the nation’s most contested Senate races, Cobb County election officials have agreed to extend the voting deadline until Nov. 14 for 716 people who had applied for ballots. by correspondence but had not received them.
Officials said overworked staff were feeling more stress due to a new state law that tightened mail-in voting rules.
Some of those who had not received the requested ballots chose to vote in person.
“I had to miss a lot of class to make sure I could come in person,” said Alyse Martin, 20, who said she traveled six hours from Washington to Cobb County after her ballot was cast. correspondence never arrived. “But I think it will be worth it in the end.”
Reporting by Andy Sullivan, Gabriella Borter and Nathan Layne; Additional reporting by Joseph Axe, Steve Holland, Ben Kellerman, Andrea Shalal; Editing by Ross Colvin, Alistair Bell and Rosalba O’Brien
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