Democrats fight to win control of the House in 2018 midterms

Tuesday, 06 Nov, 2018

The US midterm elections will be the first test of how Donald Trump's doing as president halfway into his four-year term.

And that may be where the Democrats have a glimmer of hope that they can make gains in Congress Tuesday.

The approach has drawn a push back from some in his party, with Paul Ryan, the top Republican in the House, reportedly urging Mr Trump to focus more on the booming United States economy, which has surpassed 3 per cent growth.

Despite some challenges he faced with the USA economy, he accomplished many great things by the time his term ended in January 2017, after securing a second term in 2012.

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, who heads the Democratic Senate campaign arm, said it was "remarkable" that Democrats were even in striking distance of capturing the Senate given the unfavourable map they faced.

They face strong headwinds.

Even with his daily airing of grievances on Twitter and an approval rate below the average for his recent predecessors at this point, he has nearly single-handedly put Republicans in a stronger position this fall.

If these elections go against Republicans in congress, they may feel the need to reassert themselves, afraid for their jobs the next time round.

The US midterms will be a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency.

Mr Trump has dropped hints that the Democrats could take the House, saying a number of times that there were too many candidates for him to campaign with personally - a possible excuse if things do not go his way. "Everything we voted for in 2016 is on the line in 2018".

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, to bolster the prospects of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, Trump once again warned that caravans of illegal immigrants are on their way to flood across the southern border. He casts his rivals as an angry, liberal and unsafe "mob" and plays up gains in the economy.

This may work with Trump's ultra-loyal base.

Republicans now control 29 governorships to 21 for the Democrats. The suburbs. If GOP women, an important group that Republicans need to bolster them, stay home, that's one way Democrats clean up in the House.

Discussion about the possibility of impeaching the President is also likely to grow louder in a Democratic-controlled House, despite the fact that Democratic congressional leaders have tried to tamp down on speculation that the party might pursue impeachment - at least at this point.

US President Donald Trump (L) and former US president Barack Obama.

At every rally, Trump has vowed to his supporters that they will "win, win, win".

"Whether or not the deal is ratified or how quickly it's ratified, whether it has to be tweaked, will all be a negotiation between the 116th Congress - which could well be a different stripe than the president - and the Trump White House", Maryscott Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council, told BNN Bloomberg in a recent television interview. "We are the Democratic Party", he said.

After a Trump rally in September in Springfield, Missouri, pro-Trump activist Brenda Webb, 64, sat for a late dinner at a restaurant with five friends who had driven to the rally from the St. Louis suburbs.

The House of Representatives (lower house) has 435 seats.

But the energy fizzled, she said. And 76 percent of people earning less than $30,000 say they aren't better off. "I was not politically aware and awake". Ensley said. "I'm torn on the answer to that question".

Trump's policies, he said, were making a difference for him: He said his manager at an aluminum electrical wire factory had credited Trump tariffs with raising their profits. He is only going to do more of it between Wednesday and November 2020 when he stands for re-election. "He is telling it like it is".

Republicans are counting on Trump's frenetic campaign pace in the final days to help them retain or even expand their narrow Senate majority. As of Friday, according to the News Press of Fort Meyers, more than 4.1 million Floridians had already cast a ballot while in 2014, 3.1 million early ballots were cast.

"I don't think there's a Democrat in this country that does't have a little angst left over from 2016 deep down", said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, which spent more than ever before - almost US$60 million in all - to support Democratic women this campaign season.