US midterm elections: Results will be announced on Wednesday
Americans on Tuesday started to vote in the critical midterm elections, with Donald Trump’s presidency facing its first major voter test two years after he was elected. The midterm election sees the control of the US Congress at stake, with the opposition Democrats tipped to win the House of Representatives while the Republicans are likely to retain the Senate.
All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the US Congress, are at stake, while 35 seats in the 100-member Senate are also up for grabs. 36 governor’s posts and seats in state legislatures across the country will also be decided in the vote.
Incidents of violence in the weeks leading up to the midterm polls may play a key role in the election. The campaign’s final weeks were marred by the worst anti-Semitic attack in modern US history, which left 11 dead in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Days earlier, a fanatical Trump supporter was arrested after a frantic manhunt on charges of mailing pipe bombs to prominent opponents of Donald Trump, including former US President Barack Obama and Donald Trump’s main rival in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Trump. The #MeToo movement will also play a role in voter sentiment, with Trump having repeatedly defended Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault.
Immigration and health care are other key factors for the midterm elections.
Here are the live updates of the US midterm election:
Americans experienced scattered delays at U.S. polling places in about a dozen states on Tuesday, largely in sites still using aging voting machines that were overwhelmed by a surge in voter turnout, according to officials and voter rights groups.
The first polls closed Tuesday in some eastern US states in the midterm elections, news agency AFP reported. Polling stations closed at 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) in parts of Kentucky as well as Indiana, where Democrats are struggling to hold a crucial US Senate seat in a state won by Trump in 2016.
“Today may be the most important election of our lifetimes,” Actor Leonardo DiCaprio wrote on Twitter
“We have already seen huge turnout, people out and about knocking on doors, making sure everybody gets out there, but I think turnout will be very, very high,” Democratic candidate Katie Porter, who is running in Irvine, California, against two-term Republican incumbent Mimi Walters, told news agency AFP
According to Michael McDonald of the US Elections Project, 38.4 million Americans cast their ballots early ahead of this election, compared with 27.4 million in the 2014 midterm.
Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Senator John McCain shared an old photo of her father carrying her to the poll booth when she was 15 years old. “My first Election Day of my life without you – miss you so much today Dad. Thank you for always involving me in our amazing American political process and bringing me everywhere you went,” she said
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane cast their votes in Burlington. “Together we can end one-party, extreme right-wing rule in Washington and elect progressives across the nation!” he wrote on Twitter
Musician Beyonce has come out in support of Democrat Beto O’Rourke for the Senate seat from Texas, which is a Republican stronghold. O’Rourke is running against Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
More than 38 million ballots have been cast ahead of polling day compared with fewer than 20 million in 2014 US midterm elections
Early voting hit record levels and voter turnout appeared high across the country, news agency AFP reports
- Wall Street stocks rose as investors awaited returns in the US midterm elections that are seen as a referendum on Donald Trump
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.7 percent to end the session at 25,637.25.
- The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent to close at 2,755.52, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also won 0.6 percent to 7,375.96.
- The Central American migrants trekking toward the United States in a caravan have unwittingly become key players in Tuesday’s US midterms, though many are not even aware the elections are happening.
- Seeking to maintain the Republican party’s control of Congress and mobilize his base with hardline anti-immigration rhetoric, Trump has repeatedly attacked the caravan in the run-up to election day.
- He called it a “national emergency,” warned it had been infiltrated by violent criminals and “unknown Middle Easterners” and deployed some 5,000 active-duty troops to secure the US-Mexican border.