Foreign

America Mid-term Election: Democrats, Republican Battle for Congress

Millions of Americans will vote in the midterm elections on Tuesday, with the balance of power in Congress at stake.

The entire US House of Representatives, about a third of the Senate and key state governorships are up for grabs.

Democrats currently control the White House and – by razor-thin margins – both chambers of Congress.

The party in power typically sheds an average of two dozen or so seats in the midterms, which fall midway through a president’s four years in office.

While Mr Biden himself is not up for re-election on Tuesday, midterms are often seen as a referendum on a president’s leadership.

Despite delivering on promises to lower prescription drug prices, expand clean energy and revamp US infrastructure, Mr Biden has seen his popularity suffer following the worst inflation in four decades, record illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border, and voter concerns about crime.

A political thumping for Democrats on Tuesday could embolden murmurs within the party about whether Mr Biden, who turns 80 this month, should run for re-election in 2024.

According to a tally by the BBC’s US partner, CBS News, more than half of Republican midterms candidates have raised doubts about the integrity of the 2020 White House election, echoing Mr Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud.

Mr Trump spent the eve of election day holding a final rally in Ohio alongside Republican Senate candidate JD Vance.

The former president, who has been teasing a 2024 White House comeback bid, said he would make a “very big announcement” at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago on 15 November.

Mr Trump’s party needs to net only five seats to flip the House and a single seat to take over the evenly divided Senate.

Non-partisan election observers project the Republicans will pick up roughly 15-25 seats in the 435-seat House.

But the battle for the upper chamber of Congress could go either way, according to most political forecasts, and is expected to come down to hotly fought races in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

More than 43.5m early votes have already been cast, according to the US Elections Project.

But it might be days or weeks before the outcome of the midterms is clear if races are close, as some states allow ballots to be posted on election day, and there could be recounts.

BBC/Oluwayemisi Owonikoko

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