Trump says election will be seen as referendum on him

Lloyd Doyle
November 7, 2018

After a divisive campaign marked by fierce clashes over race, immigration and other cultural issues, Americans voted on Tuesday to determine the balance of power in the US Congress and shape the future of Donald Trump's presidency. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings. A Democratic majority in the House would nearly certainly bring an onslaught of investigations into Trump's businesses and his administration.

As for Republicans, what has the GOP done with control of the legislature for the past two years, with the exception of a single unpopular tax cut? Donaldus Magnus is driving everything left and right, Republican and Democrat.

This should have us preparing for a very different political landscape beginning tomorrow - but after the surprises of Brexit and Trump's election in 2016, many are questioning the wisdom of election polling.

FILE - President Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd at a rally in Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 4, 2018. "I don't think so", Trump said, invoking images of the caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico.

Democrats, whose very relevance in the Trump era depended on winning at least one chamber of Congress, were laser-focused on health care as they predicted victories that would break up the GOP's monopoly in Washington and state governments. "That is an invasion of our country".

Current estimates suggest the Republicans have a 80.9 percent chance of keeping control and the Democrats have a 19.1 percent chance. Yet a Democratic House could also give Trump a rare chance for bipartisan deal-making as he gears up for re-election.

Trump will be holding his final three get-out-the-vote rallies Monday in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri - a day after stops in Tennessee and Georgia, where the president's closing argument to voters was on stark display as he sought to motivate complacent Republicans to the polls by stoking fears about the prospects of Democratic control. When you participate in the political process, you can be a check on bad behavior. "Look, it's no fun to be in perpetual minority, I can tell you that", he says.

"In a certain way, I am on the ballot", Trump said in a conference call Monday with his supporters.

In 2014, 44 percent of no party affiliation voters and 56 percent of third party voters cast ballots. Dean Heller versus Democrat Jacky Rosen in Nevada; Democrat Kyrsten Sinema versus Republican Martha McSally in Arizona; Democratic Sen.


But Brookings Institution expert John Hudak said it is also clear that Trump is a major issue for both parties this year. Firstly, in a broad sense, many see the midterms as a referendum on the performance of the sitting president, so poor performance for the Republicans could be an ominous sign of what's to come in 2020.

Trump, however, has seized this allegedly unconnected-to-the-elections caravan in his inimitable style.

"The big picture is that midterm elections go against the president's party", noted John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. Another top California Democratic representative, Adam Schiff, would likely rise to chair the House Intelligence Committee, where he is now the ranking member.

Casting his ballot in Chicago, James Gerlock, 27, a Republican, said he wanted to see continued economic growth under Mr Trump.

FILE - People stand cast their ballots ahead of the November 6 election at Jim Miller Park, in Marietta, Ga., Oct. 27, 2018.

"Because America has voluntary voting, not like Australia's compulsory voting, a lot more of it involves convincing your side to turn out and vote, rather than convincing undecided voters in the centre to support you", Dr Shaun Ratcliff from the US Studies Centre told news.com.au. Five of those seven seats were also held by Republicans. Candidates and their supporters are using the downtime to phone bank voters who still haven't voted and walk as many neighborhoods as possible.

Democrat Amy McGrath, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot, is running neck-and-neck against Republican Andy Barr in a House race in Kentucky, a state Mr Trump won by 30 points.

The speaker of the House is Republican Paul Ryan, who is not seeking reelection from his home state of Wisconsin.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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