Democrats likely to make congressional gains in critical US midterm election

Democrats likely to make congressional gains in critical US midterm election

Voters across much of the US will head to the polls today in one of the most consequential midterm elections

us midterm elections 2018

Photo: AFP/Getty

Voters across much of the US will head to the polls today in one of the most consequential midterm elections in history. Democratic candidates across the country are seeking to regain control of the Senate and House of Representatives after Republicans seized both chambers and the White House two years ago.

All 435 seats in the House are up for grabs, as are 35 Senate seats and 39 governorships. Unsurprisingly, many see this election as a litmus test for the Trump administration.

The primary task for the Democratic Party is to claw back 23 seats in the House—an overall Senate victory looks improbable. FiveThirtyEight, a poll analysis firm, gives the Democrats just a 15% chance of regaining control of the Senate and a roughly 80% chance of gaining a majority in the House of Reps.

Controlling either chamber would allow the Democrats to block Republican-sponsored legislation and stymie the Trump administration’s legislative agenda—or at least force it to make difficult compromises. Such an outcome would likely dismiss the potential for further tax cuts. Democrats could also use their majority to pursue investigations into President Trump and ramp up pressure in the Russia probe.

In response, Mr Trump can be expected to ramp up his vitriolic rhetoric towards the Democrats, creating market uncertainty and increasing the toxicity of America’s already very partisan political climate.

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