Washington (USA): jobs, health care, Immigration. The exceptional US midterm election has been a tug of war over key issues, but none has had a more dramatic impact on Us voters than Donald Trump, the man who is not even on the ballot.
A US Republican president is the omnipresent figure as Americans render their judgment Tuesday on the past 21 months of Trumpism.
Democrats hope voter dissatisfaction with the combative commander in chief will lead to a blue wave that flips control of the US House out of Republican hands.
Trump’s minions are counting on warmth about core issues to trigger strong traditional voter turnout that preserves their majorities in Congress. Here are the key factors in the battle for political control in Washington and across the country:
Trump, Trump, Trump
He says it himself: Even though Donald Trump is not on the ballot, he is at the heart of the 2018 vote. The election near the halfway mark of a president’s first term is consistently a referendum on the White House occupant.
But the billionaire businessman’s stormy and iconoclastic personality has taken the trend to a new level.
“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.
Trump’s scorched earth campaign stops have whipped up traditional fears about a migrant caravan “assault,” waves of crime and a slide towards socialism should Democrats take congressional control.
Many Democrats are counting on anti-Trump fervor to drive their base to the polls, but some advocate ignoring the politics of personal destruction and zeroing in on policy debates.
Trump is “deploying agitatory to distract and divide us,” and wielding “fear” to shift focus away from issues that Americans truly care about, warned Senate Democrat Patrick Leahy.