Long lines, technical issues prompt calls for midterm voters to #StayInLine

Americans are urging each other to stay in line and wait to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, despite long waits that have been reported at polling stations during the first few hours of the midterm elections.

Voters are taking to Twitter to share their stories of long lines due to either higher turnout or a lack of voting machines using the hashtag #StayInLine.

LIVE COVERAGE: U.S. midterm election results

One Atlanta polling location had hundreds of people waiting to vote at only three voting machines. Reverend Jesse Jackson called the wait a “voter suppression” tactic and encouraged people to stay in line and vote.

Reports of broken ballot scanners are leading to long lines at several polling sites across New York City.

Turnout was so heavy Tuesday morning at one packed precinct on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that the line to scan ballots stretched around a junior high school gym.

At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, more than 100 people took turns sitting in children’s chairs and on the floor as they waited in line for hours. Voting machines at the Gwinnett County precinct did not work, so poll workers offered provisional paper ballots while trying to get a replacement machine.

One voter, Ontaria Woods, said about two dozen people who had come to vote left because of the lines.

Jenna Quinn hands out pizza for voters standing in line including David Chapman (L) as they wait to cast their ballots in the 2018 mid-term general election at Lang-Carson Recreation Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 06 November 2018.

A line forms outside a polling site on election day in Atlanta, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Voters stand in line to cast their ballots at P.S. 22, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

A long line of voters wait to vote at Adler Elementary School on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, Southfield, Mich.

People stand in line to cast their vote at a public school in the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

People wait in line at polling place during election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Silver Spring, Md.

“We’ve been trying to tell them to wait, but people have children. People are getting hungry. People are tired,” Woods said. Woods said she and others turned down the paper ballots because they “don’t trust it.”

Voting in a Rhode Island community only accessible by ferry was interrupted briefly after the sole voting machine on the island malfunctioned.

The Rhode Island Board of Elections tweeted at about 9 a.m. Tuesday that the machine on Prudence Island “experienced a technical difficulty.”

A new machine was ferried over and the board said the polling place is operating normally and all ballots have been accepted.

Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay is part of the town of Portsmouth and has a population of about 200.

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CFL commissioner, group behind franchise bid set to make ‘special announcement’ in Halifax

The commissioner of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the organization hoping to bring a franchise to Canada’s East Coast are set to make “a special announcement” in Halifax on Wednesday.

There are no details on what Randy Ambrosie and the Maritime Football Limited Partnership are planning to announce. However, staff members with the Halifax Regional Municipality revealed last week that they expect CFL to award a conditional franchise to Maritime Football within the next month.

The announcement comes on the heels of a unanimous vote by Halifax Regional Council to direct staff to conduct a “thorough” business case analysis on a 24,000-seat proposed stadium by Maritime Football.

A deal on a stadium, which Ambrosie has called a critical part of any expansion bid, is far from complete but the timing of the announcement would seem to indicate that Maritime Football and the CFL have some faith that a stadium is moving along as planned.

The report voted on by council last week indicated that Maritime Football — an organization composed of business executives and former owners of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes — has proposed Shannon Park, a 38-hectare swath of land on the east side of Halifax harbour formerly used by the Department of Defence for housing, as the preferred location for the multi-purpose stadium.

The group is in talks with Canada Lands Company to buy up to eight hectares of land for the stadium, a parking structure and “associated uses,” the staff report says.

A new CFL team would be the anchor tenant of the stadium, which comes with an estimated price tag of up to $190 million.

The meeting of regional council also revealed that Maritime Football has been talking to Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University about making the stadium a full-time ice surface in the winter as well as other partnership possibilities.

The announcement, set for Nov. 7 at Saint Mary’s University is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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Fox News ‘doesn’t condone’ Sean Hannity’s appearance at Trump rally on eve of midterms

Fox News Channel officials have said they “do not condone” the actions of its host Sean Hannity when he spoke from the stage of U.S. President Donald Trump’s final midterm election rally on Monday night.

But officials stopped short of condemning the act.

“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events. We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work,” the statement read.

Officials also called the issue a distraction and said it “has been addressed.” There was no information on whether or not actions had been taken against Hannity.

Hannity, the channel’s most popular personality, had insisted all day that he wouldn’t campaign, before appearing on the podium in a Missouri arena after being called to the stage by Trump. Another Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro, also appeared onstage with the president.

“By the way, all those people in the back are fake news,” Hannity told the audience.

It was an extraordinary scene after the news network had worked Monday to establish distance between Hannity and the campaign. Trump’s campaign had billed Hannity as a “special guest” at the rally, but Fox had said that wasn’t so. Hannity himself had tweeted: “To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president. I am covering final rally for the show.”

But Trump called him to the stage after saying, “they’re very special, they’ve done an incredible job for us. They’ve been with us from the beginning.”

Hannity hugged the president when he came onstage and, after echoing Trump’s traditional epithets about the media, recited some economic statistics.

A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediate return a message seeking comment.

“Either Fox News lied all day about their direct collaboration with the Trump campaign, or the network simply doesn’t have any control over Sean Hannity,” said Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America, which has urged an advertiser boycott of Hannity in the past. “This is a problem. It’s dangerous for democracy and a threat to a free press.”

Hannity has been rebuked by Fox in the past. In 2016, he was part of a Trump political video, which Fox said it had not known about in advance and told Hannity not to do so again. When Fox found out in 2010 that the Tea Party had advertised that Hannity would be appearing at one of his fundraising rallies, Fox said it had not approved the arrangement and ordered him back to New York.

Monday’s rally appearance was not shown on Fox News Channel, but was aired on C-SPAN.

It came after Hannity’s prime-time show aired from the rally site. He played the role of cheerleader from the side as the crowd waited for Trump’s appearance. He pleaded with viewers to vote Republican on Tuesday to support Trump, and his opening monologue echoed a campaign slogan seen on signs at the arena: “Promises made, promises kept.”

He moved backstage, and with six minutes before the end of his show, Trump appeared for a billed interview that was largely bereft of questions. Trump told Hannity he had seen the beginning of his show.

“I never miss your opening monologue,” he said.

Hannity’s role at the rally had been put in question by Trump campaign itself. It announced on Sunday that Hannity was to be a guest, along with radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and singer Lee Greenwood. Fox said it did not know how that impression had been created and Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for the campaign, did not respond to a request for comment.

Despite Fox’s disavowal, the Trump campaign continued to list Hannity as a guest throughout Monday at the link where people could seek tickets to the event.

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Factbox: Fast facts about the U.S. elections

(Reuters) – Control of both houses of the U.S. Congress and 36 state governorships are at stake in Tuesday’s elections, which are widely viewed as a referendum on Republican President Donald Trump’s first two years in the White House.

The following is a look at what will influence the outcome:

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

One in four Americans lives in the 125 congressional districts where no party is widely seen having a lock on Tuesday’s vote. But the share of the country that could decide control of the House of Representatives might be smaller. About one-seventh of the country lives in the 64 districts widely seen as competitive or leaning against the incumbent party.

Sixty of those vulnerable districts are currently under Republican control or were left vacant when a Republican lawmaker resigned. 

Republicans are defending 41 open or vacant House seats on Tuesday, compared with 22 defended by Democrats. Thirty-three incumbent Republicans plan to retire from the House after their current term. That will be the most for the party since at least 1930, according to historical records compiled by the Brookings Institution. Five House Republicans resigned their seats and three more sought re-election but lost nominating elections to other Republicans.

Seventeen Republican incumbents are defending House seats in districts that Democrat Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election.

Some 182 Republican incumbents are defending House seats in districts Trump won in 2016.

Nine Republican incumbents are defending House seats in districts where Trump’s margin of victory in 2016 was less than 5 percentage points.

A total of 155 Republican incumbents are defending House seats in districts Trump won by double digits in 2016.

U.S. SENATE

Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in states that Trump won in 2016. Five of those races are widely seen as competitive or leaning Republican. They are the same five where Trump won by double digits in 2016.

STATE-LEVEL RACES

Republicans now hold 33 governorships and 65 legislative chambers, with Democrats controlling 31 and two being tied, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which does not include Nebraska’s nonpartisan, unicameral legislature in its count.

By the NCSL’s record, Republican dominance of state legislatures is at a historic high. The party controls both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s office in 25 states, with Democrats holding that trifecta in eight states, the group said.

Democrats lost 945 seats in state legislatures across the country during the 2009-2017 presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, the group said.

Democrats sustained a net loss of 13 governorships under Obama, according to the Republican Governors Association.

TURNOUT

The most recent record in voter turnout during congressional midterm elections, when the White House was not on the line, came in 1982, when 49 percent of the voting-age population showed up to vote, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That was during Republican President Ronald Reagan’s first term, when turnout among Democrats rose at twice the rate of increase among Republicans, according to Pew Research Center, resulting in a net gain of 26 seats for Democrats in the House.

Just 42 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 2014 congressional midterm elections, the lowest turnout since at least 1964, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Over the past two decades, the highest turnout for women during a midterm election occurred in 2006, when nearly 45 percent voted.

Midterm turnout by young adult voters, aged 18 to 29, most recently peaked in 1982, when 31.7 percent of that age group cast a ballot, according to Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.

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U.S. networks drop 'racist' Trump ad as critical elections near

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NBC, Fox News and Facebook pulled an ad by President Donald Trump’s campaign that critics had labeled racist as a bitter election fight for control of the U.S. Congress headed on Monday for an unpredictable finish.

Tuesday’s elections, widely seen as a referendum on Trump, have been portrayed by both Republicans and Democrats as critical for the direction of the country. At stake is control of both chambers of Congress, and with it the ability to block or promote Trump’s agenda, as well as 36 governor’s offices.

A surge in early voting, fueled by a focus on Trump’s pugilistic, norms-breaking presidency by supporters of both parties, could signal the highest turnout in 50 years for a midterm U.S. election, when the White House is not on the line.

The 30-second ad, which was sponsored by Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign and which debuted online last week, featured courtroom video of an illegal immigrant from Mexico convicted in the 2014 killings of two police officers, juxtaposed with scenes of migrants headed through Mexico.

Critics, including members of Trump’s own party, had condemned the spot as racially divisive.

CNN had refused to run the ad, saying it was “racist.” NBC, owned by Comcast Corp, said on Monday it was no longer running the ad, which it called “insensitive.”

Fox News Channel, which Trump has repeatedly named his favorite broadcaster, also said it would no longer run the spot. Fox News, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, said it had made the decision after a review but did not elaborate.

Facebook Inc said it would no longer allow paid promotions of the ad, although it would allow users to share the ad on their own pages.

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Trump batted away reporters’ questions about the networks’ decision to drop the ad.

“You’re telling me something I don’t know about. We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective based on the numbers we’re seeing,” Trump said as he departed Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for a rally in Cleveland.

Asked about concerns that the ad was offensive, he replied: “A lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive.”

After Ohio, Trump headed to campaign against vulnerable Democratic U.S. senators in Indiana and Missouri at the end of a six-day pre-election sweep that has featured heated rhetoric about immigration and repeated warnings about a caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border.

“The contrast in this election could not be more clear,” Trump told supporters in Indiana at a rally for Republican Mike Braun, who is facing incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly in a tight race. “If you want more caravans, vote for Democrats tomorrow.”

Opinion polls and election forecasters favor Democrats to pick up the minimum of 23 seats they need on Tuesday to capture a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would enable them to stymie Trump’s legislative agenda and investigate his administration.

    Republicans are favored to retain their slight majority in the U.S. Senate, currently at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve U.S. Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes.

STILL COMPETITIVE

But 64 of the 435 House races remain competitive, according to a Reuters analysis of the three main nonpartisan U.S. forecasters, and control of the Senate is likely to come down to a half dozen close contests in Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Florida.

Democrats also are threatening to recapture governor’s offices in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race.

Trump, who frequently warns of voter fraud and has asserted without evidence that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in 2016, said on Twitter on Monday that law enforcement should be on the lookout for “illegal voting.”

Democratic former President Barack Obama delivered doughnuts to campaign volunteers in a House district in suburban Virginia, where Democrat Jennifer Wexton, a state senator, is challenging Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock in a fiercely contested race.

Obama said the country’s character and its commitment to decency and equality were on the ballot on Tuesday.

“All across the country, what I’m seeing is a great awakening,” he said. “People woke up and said: ‘Oh, we can’t take this for granted. We’ve got to fight for this.’”

About 40 million early votes – including absentee, vote-by-mail and in-person ballots – will likely be cast by Election Day, according to Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who tracks the figures. In the last such congressional elections in 2014, there were 27.5 million early votes.

McDonald estimated that 45 percent of registered voters would cast ballots, which would be the highest for a midterm election in 50 years.

“The atypical thing that we’re seeing is high early vote activity in states without competitive elections or no statewide elections,” McDonald said in a phone interview.

“There’s only one explanation for that: Donald Trump. He’s fundamentally changed how people are following politics.”

Full election coverage: here

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Alberta wants to tighten up spending, contributions on municipal elections

The Alberta government is tightening up spending, contribution and disclosure rules around municipal elections.

The changes mirror rules already brought in by Premier Rachel Notley’s government to limit contributions and increase transparency around provincial campaigns.

The new rules were introduced today by Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson.

“We heard from Albertans that elections should be decided by people, not by money,” Anderson said in a statement.

“Our government made provincial elections fairer and more transparent, and now we are committed to doing the same on the municipal level.”

Under the proposed legislation, corporate and union donations will be banned.

Individuals can donate up to $4,000 to municipal campaigns as well as to school board races.

If the bill is passed, the new rules will kick in Jan. 1.

Related

Campaign finances from Lethbridge municipal election released

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First Nations will be further consulted for major resource projects but won’t get a veto

The B.C. government has introduced legislation that would overhaul the environmental assessment process for major resource projects in the province. The process would provide greater say to Indigenous communities but would not allow these communities to veto certain projects.

“What people need to know about this process is that it is consent-based. It means we work towards the various ways that we understand the issues whether it is cultural, economic, environmental raised by Indigenous nations to achieve consent,” Environment minister George Heyman said.

“The final decision is made by ministers but every step of the process we will work with Indigenous nations to achieve consent.”

The previous government has been criticized for not consulting with First Nations communities about projects that would have an impact on their communities. The federal government has been forced to go back to the drawing board on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion because of a lack of consultation with Indigenous communities.

Heyman says the new legislation would provide “a clear and timely path for the approval of responsible resource projects” while allowing the province to meet its goals of reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

“It is focused on partnerships with Indigenous nations,” he said.

“By revitalizing our environmental assessment process, we’re striking a better balance for our province, where good projects that respect B.C.’s environment, Indigenous peoples and the public will be approved more quickly.”

British Columbia became one of the first provinces in the country to introduce environmental assessment legislation when it was unveiled in 1995. Updating the legislation was part of the power-sharing agreement the government signed with the B.C. Green Party caucus.

“Revitalizing the environmental assessment process is a key shared commitment because we both recognize the need to strengthen public trust in government decision-making,” Green Party MLA Sonia Furstenau said.

“It is vital to modernize the EA process so that important considerations like climate change, cumulative impacts and new scientific standards are properly incorporated. I look forward to discussing the legislation further, so we can ensure that the wealth of our natural resources and the well-being of our ecological systems can be enjoyed by British Columbians for generations to come.”

Heyman says major projects will now have to go through an early engagement phase that will identify the focus areas for the project prior to proceeding through an environmental assessment. There will also be an enhanced public engagement period for comments.

If passed, the province will establish an environmental assessment advisory committee that includes industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous peoples and local governments.

“Government and proponents who plan to use and develop lands and resources in First Nations territories are legally required to fully engage the impacted First Nations,” Grand Chief Ed John said.

“The environmental assessment legislation tabled today recognizes First Nations’ inherent jurisdiction and sets out a structured process to ensure compliance with Indigenous engagement standards determined by the courts and those in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

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Facing long Senate odds, Democrats must first secure New Jersey

PRINCETON, N.J. (Reuters) – For Democrats, Tuesday’s New Jersey U.S. Senate election should have been a breeze.

Bob Menendez, 64, has held the seat for more than a decade as a powerful force in Washington, while representing a state that has not sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate in 46 years.

But June’s Democratic nominating contest exposed his potential weakness: a virtually unknown challenger who spent zero dollars in the race got almost 40 percent of the vote.

He is now locked in a tough and expensive race with former pharmaceutical executive Bob Hugin, a Republican who has hammered Menendez as weak on ethics after the long-serving senator’s federal corruption trial last year.

New Jersey’s other Democratic U.S. senator, Cory Booker, seen as a potential 2020 White House contender, spent Sunday crisscrossing the state alongside Menendez, telling voters that re-electing his colleague would help block Republican President Donald Trump’s agenda.

The contest is crucial to the Democrats’ slim hopes of taking control of the Senate, which depend on winning two Republican-held seats while defending 10 Senate seats in states that Trump won in 2016.

A loss in New Jersey, a Democratic bastion in the U.S. Northeast, could be a fatal blow to those hopes.

Democrats remain favorites to win the 23 seats they need to capture the U.S. House of Representatives.

Menendez’s corruption trial ended in November 2017 when the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.

U.S. prosecutors then dropped the case, but Menendez was censured by a Senate committee for accepting gifts from a wealthy longtime friend in exchange for official favors.

Hugin, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and the former executive chairman of Celgene Corp, has poured $36 million of his own money into his campaign, airing a barrage of television commercials attacking Menendez.

“If there were any other normal candidate who was not self-funding, I think Menendez would be ahead by 20 points,” said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University. “Money matters.”

The Cook Political Report, an independent group that analyzes congressional races, moved the race to “toss-up” from “leans Democrat” 10 days ago.

Menendez in recent years has been a high-profile Democratic voice in foreign policy, weighing in on sensitive subjects from nuclear talks with Iran to U.S. relations with Cuba as the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC has spent more than $7.5 million to boost Menendez, including running ads in the waning days of the campaign, a signal the party is concerned about the incumbent’s position.

Another super PAC, Patients for Affordable Drugs Action, has spent nearly $3.5 million to attack Hugin, saying he kept cancer drug prices artificially high.

‘CHOKE IT DOWN’

The state’s biggest newspaper, the Star-Ledger, reluctantly endorsed Menendez in an editorial headlined: “Choke it down, and vote for Menendez.”

“The people of New Jersey recognize that we can and we will do better than Bob Menendez,” said Nick Iacovella, a Hugin campaign spokesman.

Last month, Hugin ran a commercial repeating allegations that Menendez hired underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. The FBI investigated those claims years ago and found no evidence to substantiate them.

Menendez, who noted that fact-checkers had decried the ad as false, called Hugin a “slimeball” for running it.

Democrats have sought to portray Hugin as a crucial vote for Trump’s agenda.

“We feel really good about our position right now,” said Steven Sandberg, a spokesman for Menendez’s campaign.

Hugin, who donated money to Trump’s 2016 campaign, has tried to distance himself from the president’s more incendiary rhetoric, disagreeing with Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship and calling for “compassionate” immigration reform.

For all Reuters election coverage, click: here

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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Net Neutrality Challenges

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear challenges to “net neutrality” regulations adopted in 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration and upheld by a federal appeals court the next year.

The 2015 regulations had barred broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or content. The rules allowed the federal government to regulate high-speed internet delivery as a utility, like phone service.

Three members of the Supreme Court — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch — said they would have instead vacated the appeals court decision as moot, presumably because the commission reversed itself last year, after a change in its membership.

[Net Neutrality has officially been repealed. Read how this could affect you.]

The F.C.C.’s reversal reflected the Trump administration’s deregulatory philosophy. The commission’s chairman, Ajit Pai, said the change would benefit consumers because broadband providers could offer them a greater variety of services. His two fellow Republican commissioners also supported the change, giving them a 3-to-2 majority.

Those new regulations are the subject of a separate challenge pending in the appeals court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh recused themselves from consideration of the several petitions denied on Monday, which included Berringer v. Federal Communications Commission, No. 17-498.

Follow Adam Liptak on Twitter: @adamliptak.

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A blue or red wave? On eve of U.S. midterm elections ‘everything is at stake’

The day of reckoning for American politics has nearly arrived.

Voters on Tuesday will decide the $5 billion debate between U.S. President Donald Trump’s take-no-prisoner politics and the Democratic Party’s super-charged campaign to end the GOP’s monopoly in Washington and statehouses across the nation.

There are indications that an oft-discussed “blue wave” may help Democrats seize control of at least one chamber of Congress. But two years after an election that proved polls and prognosticators wrong, nothing is certain on the eve of the first nationwide elections of the Trump presidency.

“I don’t think there’s a Democrat in this country that doesn’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 — nearly $60 million in all — to support Democratic women this campaign season.

“Everything matters and everything’s at stake,” Schriock said.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House are up for re-election. And 35 Senate seats are in play, as are almost 40 governorships and the balance of power in virtually every state legislature.

While he is not on the ballot, Trump himself has acknowledged that the 2018 midterms, above all, represent a referendum on his presidency.

Should Democrats win control of the House, as strategists in both parties suggest is likely, they could derail Trump’s legislative agenda for the next two years. Perhaps more importantly, they would also win subpoena power to investigate the president’s many personal and professional missteps.

Tuesday’s elections will also test the strength of a Trump-era political realignment defined by evolving divisions among voters by race, gender and especially education.

Trump’s Republican coalition is increasingly becoming older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree. Democrats are relying more on women, people of colour, young people and college graduates.

The political realignment, if there is one, could re-shape U.S. politics for a generation.

Just five years ago, the Republican National Committee reported that the GOP’s very survival depended upon attracting more minorities and women. Those voters have increasingly fled Trump’s Republican Party, turned off by his chaotic leadership style and xenophobic rhetoric. Blue-collar men, however, have embraced the unconventional president.

One of the RNC report’s authors, Ari Fleischer, acknowledged that Republican leaders never envisioned expanding their ranks with white, working-class men.

“What it means to be Republican is being rewritten as we speak,” Fleischer said. “Donald Trump has the pen, and his handwriting isn’t always very good.”

A nationwide poll released Sunday by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal details the depth of the demographic shifts.

Democrats led with likely African-American voters (84 per cent to 8 per cent), Latinos (57 per cent to 29 per cent), voters between the ages of 18-34 (57 per cent to 34 per cent), women (55 per cent to 37 per cent) and independents (35 per cent to 23 per cent).

Among white college-educated women, Democrats enjoy a 28-point advantage: 61 per cent to 33 per cent.

On the other side, Republicans led with voters between the ages of 50 and 64 (52 per cent to 43 per cent), men (50 per cent to 43 per cent) and whites (50 per cent to 44 per cent). And among white men without college degrees, Republicans led 65 per cent to 30 per cent.

Democrats hope to elect a record number of women to Congress. They are also poised to make history with the number of LGBT candidates and Muslims up and down the ballot.

Former President Barack Obama seized on the differences between the parties in a final-days scramble to motivate voters across the nation.

“One election won’t eliminate racism, sexism or homophobia,” Obama said during an appearance in Florida. “It’s not going to happen in one election. But it’ll be a start.”

Trump has delivered a very different closing argument, railing against Latin American immigrants seeking asylum at the U.S. border.

With the walking caravan weeks away, Trump dispatched more than 5,000 troops to the region. The president also said soldiers would use lethal force against migrants who throw rocks, before later reversing himself.

Still, his xenophobic rhetoric has been unprecedented for an American president in the modern era: “Barbed wire used properly can be a beautiful sight,” Trump told voters in Montana.

The hyper-charged environment is expected to drive record turnout in some places, but on the eve of the election, it’s far from certain which side will show up in the greatest numbers.

The outcome is clouded by the dramatically different landscape between the House and Senate.

Democrats are most optimistic about the House, a sprawling battlefield extending from Alaska to Florida. Most top races, however, are set in America’s suburbs where more educated and affluent voters in both parties have soured on Trump’s turbulent presidency, despite the strength of the national economy.

Democrats need to pick up two dozen seats to claim the House majority.

Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who personally invested $110 million to help Democrats this year, largely in the House, has seized on voter education levels in picking target races, according to senior aide Howard Wolfson.

“In this cycle, it seemed as if there was a disproportionately negative reaction among highly educated voters to Trump,” he said.

As a result, Bloomberg’s team poured money into otherwise overlooked suburban districts in states like Georgia, Washington state and Oklahoma because data revealed voters there were better-educated.

Democrats face a far more difficult challenge in the Senate, where they are almost exclusively on defense in rural states where Trump remains popular. Democratic Senate incumbents are up for re-election, for example, in North Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana — states Trump carried by 30 percentage points on average two years ago.

Democrats need to win two seats to claim the Senate majority, although most political operatives in both parties expect Republicans to add to their majority.

While Trump is prepared to claim victory if his party retains Senate control, at least one prominent ally fears that losing even one chamber of Congress could be disastrous.

“If they take back the House, he essentially will become a lame-duck president, and he won’t win re-election,” said Amy Kremer, a tea party activist who leads the group Women for Trump.

“They’ll do anything and everything they can to impeach him,” she said.

Indeed, powerful Democratic forces are already pushing for Trump’s impeachment, even if Democratic leaders aren’t ready to go that far.

Liberal activist Tom Steyer spent roughly $120 million this midterm season. Much of that has gone to boost turnout among younger voters, although he has produced a nationwide advertising campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment.

Steyer insisted that most Democrats agree.


“We’re not some fringe element of the Democratic Party. We are the Democratic Party,” he said.

By Election Day, both sides are expected to have spent more than $5 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The flood of campaign cash, a midterm record, has been overwhelmingly fueled by energy on the left.

Money aside, Steyer said he and concerned voters everywhere have invested their hearts and souls into the fight to punish Trump’s party.

“That’s what’s at stake: my heart and soul, along with everybody else’s,” he said.

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