Thursday 19 September 2019

Midterm election results due following volatile campaign

U.S Senate candidate Matt Rosendale talks with supporters at an election night party in Helena, Montana, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
U.S Senate candidate Matt Rosendale talks with supporters at an election night party in Helena, Montana, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom speaks after being elected governor of the state during an election night party in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A snow covered car with a Trump sticker outside an election night party for U.S Senate candidate Matt Rosendale in Helena, Montana, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom hugs his wife Jennifer as he celebrates being elected governor of the state during an election night party in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man wearing a New York Yankees hat votes during the midterm election at P.S. 140 in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A person arrives as early morning voting opens for the midterm election at P.S. 140 in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Voters line up outside of the Center for Civil and Human Rights ready to vote, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant
U.S. Democratic Congressional candidate Jahana Hayes, with her son Myles, checks in at a voting station in Wolcott, Connecticut, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
U.S. Democratic Congressional candidate Jahana Hayes arrives to fill out her ballot to vote at a voting station in Wolcott, Connecticut, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
Mist shrouds the U.S. Capitol dome on the morning of midterm Election Day, as voters go to the polls to decide the control of the U.S. House and Senate in the mid-term of the Trump presidency in Washington, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People cast their ballots in the midterm election at William Ford Elementary School in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky
People cast their ballots in the midterm election at William Ford Elementary School in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky
The U.S. Capitol is shown as evening sets on midterm Election Day in Washington, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum marks his midterm election ballot as his daughter Caroline and son Jackson, both age 4, watch in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Democratic candidate for governor Michelle Lujan Grisham greets diners at Barelas Coffee House on midterm elections day in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
People cast their ballots in the midterm election at William Ford Elementary School in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky
Voters line up at a voting station in Wolcott, Connecticut, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
Voters line up to vote as polls opened in the U.S. midterm congressional and gubernatorial elections in Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Voters line up to vote as polls opened in the U.S. midterm congressional and gubernatorial elections in Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
A woman stands in a polling station at P.S. 140 during the midterm election in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Milford Hayes and his son Myles watch as Milford's wife, U.S. Democratic Congressional candidate Jahana Hayes, is interviewed at a voting station in Wolcott, Connecticut, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
Stickers sit as an election worker waits for people to vote during the midterm election at P.S. 140 in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Voters wait in a line inside the Center for Civil and Human Rights, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant
People vote during the midterm election at P.S. 140 in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A golf cart passes a sign for a polling station in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Virginia state senator Jennifer Wexton, Democratic nominee for Virginia's 10th Congressional District, speaks with reporters after casting her ballot, at Loudoun County High School in Leesburg, Virginia, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Al Drago

John Whitesides

Results of the pivotal midterm election are due this morning in what is being viewed as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.

The first polls began to close in parts of Indiana and Kentucky on Tuesday as Americans cast votes at the end of a divisive campaign to decide whether Donald Trump's fellow Republicans maintain their grip on the US Congress.

But it could be hours before the winners are determined in dozens of tight races that will decide control of the House of Representatives and Senate.

The first national elections since Trump captured the White House in a 2016 upset became a referendum on the polarizing president, and a test of whether Democrats can turn the energy of the liberal anti-Trump resistance into victories at the ballot box.

The Democrats are favored by election forecasters to pick up the 23 seats they need to gain a majority in the House, but have slimmer hopes of gaining control of the Senate, opinion polls show.

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US President Donald Trump. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

All 435 seats in the House, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 of the 50 state governorships are up for grabs on Tuesday.

The volatile campaign was marked by clashes over race, immigration and trade. In the final stretch, Trump focused his rhetoric on hardline warnings about illegal immigration and liberal "mobs."

If Democrats capture the House, they could block Trump's agenda and launch congressional investigations into aspects of Trump's administration, from his tax returns to possible business conflicts of interest and the nature of his 2016 campaign's ties to Russia.

A Republican victory in both chambers of Congress would be a validation for Trump's polarizing style, a month after he solidified a conservative majority on the Supreme Court when the Senate confirmed his nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a fight that split the nation over sexual misconduct accusations against the jurist.

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The thin red, white and blue line: People queue up to vote in the US midterm elections at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia, yesterday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Striking a dark tone at a rally in Indiana on Monday evening, Trump accused Democrats without offering any evidence of "openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overrun our country".

US stocks ticked higher in thin trading on Tuesday, as investors awaited the election results.

Analysts expect pressure on stocks if Democrats gain control of the House and a sharper downward reaction if they win the Senate, too. If Republicans hold their ground, stocks could gain further, with hopes of more tax cuts ahead.

Reuters

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