Voters casting final ballots to determine control of House, Senate and 36 governor races



CNN

Amid concerns about inflation and gas prices that have caused serious headaches for Democrats, voters are casting their final ballots in races that will determine control of the narrowly divided House and Senate, as well as governorships across the country.

Republicans have run against the incumbent party, blaming Americans’ economic insecurity on President Joe Biden and Democrats. They have already vowed to launch investigations into the administration and undermine its agenda if they win a majority in the House, and many of their nominees have echoed former President Donald Trump’s election falsehoods, prompting Biden’s repeated warnings about threats to democracy. it was.

But uppermost on voters’ minds this fall is the economy. All 435 House seats are up for grabs on Tuesday, with Democrats even on the defensive in seats that Biden could easily have won two years ago. His low approval ratings — along with the historic challenges a president’s party faces in their first midterm cycle — have them excited about their chance to build a substantial majority in the House, where Republicans need only a net gain of five seats. Between Labor Day and Election Day, nine of the 10 highest-spending House races went to Democrats — a sign of the danger the incumbent party is in.

Control of the Senate, currently split 50-50, is on a razor’s edge with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote as Democrats cling to seats in battleground states including Nevada, Georgia, Arizona and New Hampshire. Republicans need only a net gain of one seat to win the majority.

But as they try to hold onto Republicans, Democrats are also trying to pick up seats to protect themselves from losses. Their best chance is in the perennial swing state of Pennsylvania, where Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz are running to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey in what has become the nation’s most expensive Senate race this fall. Democrats are also trying to defeat the Senate’s most vulnerable GOP incumbent, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a close Trump ally, as he faces off against Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

The economic blows of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced many working-class Americans to dip into their savings and cut back on everyday spending, after soaring gas and grocery prices, leaving voters in a sour mood as they scramble for potential. Depression. In a recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS, three-quarters of Americans said they felt the United States was already in a recession.

While there are many factors pushing inflation — including lingering supply chain problems and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — voters are also registering their disappointment with Biden, whose approval rating was 41% in the latest CNN poll.

Frustration over Washington’s inability to significantly reduce costs has rattled Democrats even in reliably blue states like California, Oregon and New York. The latter two include surprisingly competitive gubernatorial races. There are enough contested House seats for Republicans to win House majorities in those states alone.

Democrats hoped the Supreme Court’s late June ruling overturning abortion rights would help turn the tide against them. But while the ruling helped close an emotional gap between Republicans and Democrats, in some key races Democrats may have had less of an impact than expected.

After Trump promoted a number of Republican candidates who echoed his lies about the 2020 election, Biden has repeatedly warned that “democracy is on the ballot” as he is stuck stumping in mostly blue states. But like abortion access, democracy volatility consistently ranks lower than the economy and inflation when voters are asked about their biggest concerns heading into the election.

However, talk of a threat to democracy has been prominent in some gubernatorial and secretary of state races because of the prospect of pro-Trump election-rejecting candidates taking positions that would allow them to administer the 2024 presidential election.

The midterms will serve as a crucial proving ground for Trump, who has cast a long shadow over the Republican Party, as he uses appearances for the nominees he has elevated to tease his presidential bid in 2024.

Appearing in Ohio on Monday night for his hand-picked Senate candidate JD Vance, who is in a surprisingly tight race against Democrat Tim Ryan in a state Trump has won twice, the former president said he’s making a big statement on his way. -a-Lago Resort on November 15th. CNN previously reported that his aides were looking to launch a campaign in the third week of November — a time that would allow Trump to take credit for midterm GOP successes. He hopes a good night for his candidates — including Arizona’s election rejects — will help him build momentum for a third White House bid.

Ahead of a possible rematch with Trump, Biden’s dragging approval ratings have him reluctantly appearing on the campaign trail in swing states. He rallied in Maryland for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore and a few days earlier in New York for Democratic Gov. Cathy Hochul in the run-up to the election.

Republican momentum in the final stretch of the campaign — particularly in the race for the House — has alerted the White House to potential disappointments in governing in a divided Washington. The GOP has already promised relentless investigations and hearings focusing on the Justice Department, the administration’s border policies, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the president’s son, Hunter Biden. In an exclusive interview with CNN on Sunday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opened the door to the start of impeachment proceedings against the president.

A divided government in Washington could allow Biden to use his presidential veto to scuttle Republican plans to extend Trump-era tax cuts and any attempt to pass a national ban on abortion. But it could also trigger financial showdowns and threats of a government shutdown. A conflict may also arise regarding raising the credit limit.

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