Trump, Obama square off ahead of midterms


FLORIDA: Always central to America's political narrative, Florida will again be in the spotlight Tuesday. While all eyes would be on the so-called "Samosa Caucus" - the unofficial group of five Indian-Americans in the current Congress - the emergence of such a large number of young Indian-Americans reflects the growing desire of this small ethnic community comprising one per cent of the USA population. The midterm elections should ensure that even Mr Trump with his dismissive attitude to political tradition understands that.

Overall, more voters disapproved of Trump's job performance than approved - a finding that is largely consistent with recent polling.

"Everything matters and everything's at stake", Schriock said. "But I can't overlook the whole picture", Hults said at an open-air outlet mall in Flemington, New Jersey, where five-term Republican U.S. Representative Leonard Lance faces a stiff challenge from Democrat Tom Malinowski. And 35 Senate seats are in play, as are nearly 40 governorships and the balance of power in virtually every state legislature.

The main reason for this increase in interest and enthusiasm about voting in the mid-term elections are strong feelings about President Trump.

Trump has wagered big that a almost $1.8-trillion blast in tax cuts and extra spending would leave his party all but invincible at a time when unemployment is at its lowest since the 1960s and the economy is expanding at a robust 3.5 percent. Perhaps more importantly, they would also win subpoena power to investigate Trump's many personal and professional missteps.

TEXAS: Deep in the heart of this traditionally Republican bastion is one of the marquee matchups of the 2018 midterms: the Canadian-born Republican senator and Trump tormentor-turned-ally Ted Cruz versus young upstart Democrat challenger Beto O'Rourke.

While men, and voters that are older, white and wealthier, are the president's biggest backers, according to the Reuters poll, analysts say much will depend on white women with at least a college degree, who are roughly split on the question of the economy.

"Why is it that we kind of take for granted, like, one party that specifically institutes programs to prevent people from voting?" In turn, Trump began trying out defensive arguments ahead of Election Day, noting that midterm losses are typical for the party in the White House, pointing out a high number of GOP retirements and stressing that he had kept his focus on the Senate.

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

"Everyone benefits from the upswing", said Jack McDade, a Republican voter in Lance's district, who says the candidate would have been wiser to fully embrace Trump's policies.

Bernie Sanders, the leftist populist who some feel would have had a better chance than Clinton to take on Trump in 2016, lashed out Monday at the president, calling him a "pathological liar".

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

On the other side, Republicans led with voters between the ages of 50 and 64 (52% to 43%), men (50% to 43%) and whites (50% to 44%).

The role of a Democrat opposition in Congress is all the more crucial after the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh which has created a solidly Republican majority on the Supreme Court. They are also poised to make history with a number of LGBT candidates and Muslims up and down the ballot.

"One election won't eliminate racism, sexism or homophobia", Mr Obama said during an appearance in Florida. "But it'll be a start". "The press is very much considering it a referendum on me and us as a movement".

With a walking caravan of immigrants weeks away from reaching the border, Mr Trump dispatched more than 5,000 troops to the region. But the president received negative marks from voters on temperament and trustworthiness.

The two parties were also tangling in several crucial governors' races, including in Midwest battleground states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa and MI. 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.

Republicans are favoured to retain their slight majority in the US Senate, now at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes. Still, Republican voters tended to be overwhelmingly supportive of the president.

Still, about one-third of voters said Trump was not a factor in their votes.

A Democratic-controlled House could hamper Trump's attempts to further his pro-business agenda, fuelling uncertainty about his administration. 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.

Before Election Day, the state Senate majority held by Republicans numbered 27-10 with one vacancy.

But on the eve of the election, in a packed airport hangar in Cleveland and at other Trump rallies across the nation, the stakes are different: a vote to protect a leader they see as under siege, whose inflammatory rhetoric is a necessary price for a norm-shattering era of change.