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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:10 AM

Election Day Arrives: What’s At Stake In Midterm Battles For Congress, Governorships

Fox News
By Alex Pappas
6 November 2018

Excerpt:

It’s finally here.

After hundreds of campaign rallies, billions of dollars in donations, a nonstop blitz of TV advertising and polling that’s been in full swing since summer, Election Day has arrived – and with it, voters’ midterm verdict on whether Republicans should hold or lose their grip on power in Washington.

Democrats have been working toward this day since the moment President Trump was sworn in. They’ve waited two long years for the shot to win enough seats in Congress to cripple the 45th president’s agenda.

In the end, the elections will go one of three ways: Republicans hold both chambers, Democrats take the majority in both, or the parties split the House and Senate. Either of the latter two scenarios would be problematic for Trump, immediately putting a damper on his agenda.

By the numbers, 35 Senate seats, 36 gubernatorial seats and 435 House seats are up for grabs on Tuesday. And the biggest names in both parties say the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“America is at a crossroads right now,” former President Barack Obama told supporters in Illinois over the weekend, saying it “might be the most important election of my lifetime, maybe more important than 2008.”

Trump himself has been campaigning non-stop in recent days, telling voters they must keep Democrats from taking back control of the House and Senate, or his agenda could be in jeopardy. The party of the president has historically lost seats in their first midterm elections.

“We have to win,” Trump told supporters Monday during a telephone town hall, ticking off accomplishments during his first years in office and warning everything he’s accomplished as president can be “undone and changed by the Democrats.”

Here’s the lay of the land on Election Day:

  • For Democrats, their best shot at winning back control of a body of Congress is in the House, where they need to net 23 seats for a majority. Whether they flip the House or not, Democrats are still expected to gain seats in the chamber, given the favorable political environment for Democrats.

  • Republicans currently hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Democrats have long aimed to win back control. But it will be more difficult for Democrats to be victorious in the Senate by netting two seats in part because of the large number of incumbent Democrats running for re-election in states won by Trump in 2016.

  • Republicans currently control 33 governorships, with Democrats holding 16. But with 36 seats up this year, Democrats are likely to pick up at least some seats. According to the Fox News Gubernatorial Power Rankings, Republicans are favored to control at least 22 seats by the end of the night and Democrats are favored have at least 20 seats, with 8 additional toss-up races.

Election watchers could be in for a long time. The first polls, on the East Coast, close at 7 p.m. ET. After polls on the West Coast close at 11 p.m. ET, the last will close in Alaska at 1 a.m. ET.

*snip*

But there are no guarantees about Election Day, even as generic congressional ballots show Democrats with the advantage over Republicans. While Democrats need to net 23 seats for a majority, the Fox News House Power Rankings indicate there are 29 “toss-up” races.

If Democrats are victorious, the Trump administration likely will be in for a challenging 2019. Should Democrats re-take the House, there are signs some in the conference may launch a push to impeach the president – though the leadership has not yet backed the effort. Pelosi has said impeachment is "not a priority," at least not until Special Counsel Robert Mueller announces the conclusions of his probe into the Trump administration's alleged dealings with Russia.

Trump, though, almost assuredly will face an avalanche of investigations into his tax returns, his payments to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and his relationship with Russia if Democrats win back the House – which comes with the much-coveted power to subpoena and launch congressional investigations.

PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CLOSING ARGUMENT: VOTE REPUBLICAN AND CONTINUE THE JOBS BOOM

*snip*
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