USA midterm elections 2018: History against Trump ahead of crucial vote

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Having elected someone president, Americans are collectively ready to punch him on the nose after just 24 months.

"A vote for Marsha is really a vote for me and everything that we stand for", he said at an October event for Tennessee's Republican Senate nominee Marsha Blackburn.

Among likely voters, 50 percent prefer a Democratic Congress, while 43 percent prefer a Republican Congress, according to the final Wall Street Journal-NBC poll before the election, released Sunday morning.

While three-quarters of voters report being generally satisfied with the economy, Mr. Trump's combative style of leadership has combined with partisan rancor left over from the 2016 presidential election to keep his job-approval rating relatively low.

"You can hold the president accountable and say you'll fix health care at the same time", Mack said.

So history is against Donald Trump. Also feeling pressure are Republican incumbents in suburban Philadelphia and the Pittsburgh area, including House Speaker Mike Turzai of Allegheny County. He's less popular than Lyndon Johnson in 1966, Jimmy Carter in 1978, Clinton in 1994, and Barack Obama in 2010 and 2014.

Trump condemned the anti-Semitic attack but was more ambiguous about the homemade bomb threat.

Pollsters say Democrats may win the 23 seats they need to take over the House of Representatives, and possibly 15 or so extra seats.

Republicans are favoured to retain their slight majority in the U.S. Senate, now 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.

Another way to read the tea-leaves is to look at the popularity of the two parties themselves, as revealed in the generic ballot. Republicans are now behind by 8.5 percent.

Seven points may sound like a big gap, but the poll, conducted on the first three days of November, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 points among 774 people surveyed, half by cellphone, half by landline.

In the gubernatorial election, Democrat J.B. Pritzker will defeat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and it won't be close.

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Most Democratic candidates have tended to avoid directly confronting the president, focusing instead on "kitchen table" issues such as healthcare and economic inequality.

To their dismay, Republican candidates have found that last year's tax cuts are a vote-loser. If the committee approves any articles, the full House would vote on impeachment and then refer the matter to the Senate for a trial.

The bellwether state of Florida, with hotly contested races for governor and a Senate seat, has seen record-high early voting totals ahead of Election Day. Bill Nelson is also up against it in Florida. Joe Donnelly of IN and Sen.

Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 20, 2016, and U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke campaigns in Houston, Nov. 11, 2017 in this combination photo. But don't be surprised to see Mitch McConnell still in charge when all is said and done.

Veteran Democratic strategist Paul Begala doesn't think it's hyperbolic to say that "everything" is at stake for Democrats heading into Tuesday's elections. The hearings at which Kavanaugh was confronted by his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, backfired spectacularly as men - and many women - all over the American heartland sided with Kavanaugh.

The Democrats' leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, pledged a confrontational approach toward the administration in an interview published Monday in HuffPost. Of course, there may be no stopping the polarization. Another compared Donald Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The difference is that the Democrats have learned their lesson and are now unabashedly waging the info war - big data, bots, and all.

"The House has been a rubber stamp for the Trump agenda".

Yet there is another scenario. "It's a sign of their ineffectiveness that they're afraid to do it", said Ed Mattos (70) of Rockville, Maryland, who attended the Sanders rally. She loathes Trump, no doubt.

President Trump has argued that a Democratic takeover of Congress would trigger an influx of illegal immigrants and a crime wave.

Democrats believe that what they see as anti-immigrant talk from the president and a focus on a caravan still hundreds of miles away from the U.S., will backfire. "There's so many things that are pushing this in unconventional ways", Klein said.

Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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