The electoral centers of the United States, which this Tuesday celebrate mid-term elections, began the slow process of closing, specifically the first were the states of Kentucky and Indiana while the rest of the country continued to vote. Faced with the first results, President Joe Biden asked voters to stay in line to cast their vote.
“As polling places start to close in some parts of the country, if you are in line at your polling place before they close, stay in line. make your voice heard”, said the president on Twitter.
It happens that due to the geography of the country, the electoral night will last for hours. The last state to close its polling places will be Alaska, that with two time zones, will put an end to election day in the country. This will be at 6 GMT on Wednesday (7 in the morning in Spain).
The first results that were known to elect senators indicate that the fiefdoms of Republicans and Democrats continue to vote the same trend as previous elections. The Associated Press agency has announced the first winners of the night for the Senate. It is the Republican Tim Scott who has won in South Carolina; Democrat Peter Welch of Vermont; and Republican Rand Paul in Kentucky. But the choice is open.
Americans today elect the 435 members of the House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 senators and 36 governorsas well as thousands of state and local offices, and hold referendums on issues like the legalization of marijuana and abortion.
Results may take days to be known in some states. In the 2020 presidential elections, the country’s major media took four days to declare the current president, Joe Biden, the winner and, for this Tuesday’s elections, the White House has already warned that “counting the ballots in an orderly manner takes time.” .
These mid-term elections are the first since the presidential ones, which were marked by unfounded allegations of fraud by the Republican side and by the then president himself, Donald Trump (2017-2021), who still considers that he won two years ago.
With their vote, Americans decide today to renew a large part of the two chambers of Congress: the 435 seats that make up the House of Representatives (where deputies serve a two-year term) and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate (where the position is for six years and the date of your election varies).
In addition, the governorships of 36 states and a multitude of state and local positions, such as the Secretaries of State, are at stake.
Until now, the Democrats hold the majority in the House of Representatives, while in the Senate they have a minimal majority with half of the senators and the tiebreaker of the vice president, Kamala Harris.
According to the polls that have been published in recent weeks, the Republican opposition could regain power in elections marked by the economy and with a Joe Biden besieged by runaway inflation, one of the great issues of the campaign.
With most of the states with a very defined voting tendency, it is others like Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin that have the power to tip the balance to one side or the other.
With 331.5 million people of voting age according to the last official census, the participation data will also be important, since mid-term elections usually draw fewer people than presidential ones.
In the 2020 presidential elections, according to the Pew research center, more than 158.4 million people went to the polls, a figure equivalent to 62.8% of citizens of voting age. In the 2018 legislative elections, this percentage stood at 47.5%.
To reverse this lower turnout, these elections are being sold as the great litmus test for Joe Biden and as the beginning of a race towards the 2024 presidential elections, in which Donald Trump will presumably participate.
The return of Donald Trump
The final stretch of the campaign has also been marked by the advance by former United States President Donald Trump (2017-2021) late on Monday that on November 15 he will make “a big announcement” from his residence of Mar-a-Lago in Florida, in a veiled reference to his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.
Although there had been speculation throughout Monday about the possibility that he would announce his candidacy that same day, Trump called that day to make an announcement. But he did leave signs of his intentions: “In 2024 we are going to recover our magnificent White House,” he proclaimed during his speech at a campaign event in Ohio.
For his part, the last act of Biden took place for his part in Maryland. A state with Democratic depth, in which he warned that the Republicans “will undo everything achieved” during his government if they achieve a majority in Congress, and stressed that the elections are not a referendum on his management, but the time to decide between “two visions” of the country.
Biden later insisted that he is optimistic about the results of the midterm elections and confident of a victory in the Senate, but acknowledged that Democrats have a hard time holding on to a majority in the House of Representatives.
The president does not enjoy popular approval: according to FiveThirtyEight, 53.1% of citizens disapprove of his management, and only 42.1% consider that he is doing a good job.
The elections this Tuesday are not a referendum on his work, but its result will condition the end of his term. Losing the majority in Congress will hamper any attempt to push through new regulations.
For this reason, although in most states the results are clear, the focus is concentrated on those where the margin in the fight for the Senate is so tight that there could be surprises. Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are some of those that have the power to tip the balance on one side or the other, and thus define what the last stretch of the Democratic Presidency will be like.