One day until the midterms: more votes and more money spent
By Daniel J. McLaughlin
There is just one day left until the midterm elections in the United States. It has been a large, arduous campaign with Democrats and Republicans fighting to take - or retain - control of the two chambers of Congress: the Senate (lower), and the House of Representatives (higher). In many ways, when Americans take to the polls to select their congressional leaders, the midterms serve as a referendum on President Donald Trump.
Will there be a blue wave from the Democrats? Or is this "fake news" with Trump's message of fear scaring voters to choose the GOP? All 435 House seats and 33 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs in this fraught contest.
The Democrats have a seven-point advantage over Republicans among likely voters, according to new polls. This is down from a nine-point lead recorded last month. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday shows the Democrats leading 50 per cent to the GOP's 43 per cent.
They have the same edge over Republicans in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Their lead has tightened when you look at previous iterations of the same poll: in August, the split was 52 per cent to 38 per cent, and in October, it was 53 per cent to 42 per cent.
Early voter turnout has spiked, and it is significantly higher than the last midterm elections in 2014. Over 31.5 million ballots have been cast for the midterms so far, Global News reports. According to the Elections Project from University of Florida associate professor Michael McDonald, early voter turnout has doubled in eight states, including Texas and Tennessee. In fact, in Texas, more people have voted early than the total number of people who voted in the state in the 2014 midterms.
Young voters are turning out, too. In Republican-leaning Texas and Georgia, early voting for people under 30 has increased by more than 400 per cent. In Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania and Nevada, the turnout of young voters has at least doubled - up by 364 per cent in Nevada and 411 per cent in Pennsylvania.
It has also been the most expensive midterm elections in history. Campaigns, parties and outside groups have splashed the cash, spending a huge $4.7 billion. It is expected to rise to more than $5.2 billion by the end of the election, CNBC reports. The previous record on midterm election spending was $4.2 billion.
"Democratic campaigns have largely drubbed GOP candidates in House swing-district fundraising. It has forced the House Republican campaign arm and outside groups to spend heavily in those contests to catch up," they explain.
The 2018 midterm elections will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, November 6).