Biden, Trump make final pitches to US voters on eve of midterms

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One day before midterm elections that could usher in a new era of divided government in Washington, President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump will hold competing rallies in a final effort to mobilize supporters.

Biden, whose sagging popularity has made him unwelcome in several swing states, will travel to reliably Democratic Maryland on Monday, where the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Wes Moore, is widely expected to win back the Republican-held governorship.

Trump, meanwhile, is headed to Ohio to campaign alongside the Republican Senate nominee, J.D. Vance, who emerged from a crowded field of candidates on the strength of Trump’s endorsement. He has repeatedly hinted that he plans to launch another presidential run soon.

Weighed down by voter frustrations over rising prices, Biden’s Democrats fear Tuesday’s elections could see them lose control of one or both chambers of Congress.

Non-partisan election forecasters predicted on Monday that Republicans are likely to pick up roughly 25 seats in the 435-seat House, more than enough to win a majority.

That would spell the end of Biden’s legislative agenda – including Democratic priorities such as abortion rights, family leave and climate change – and open the door for two years of Republican-led investigations that could potentially damage the White House. A Republican-led Senate could also block Biden’s nominations for judicial or administrative posts.

Billionaire Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter has Democrats worried that it could unleash a wave of disinformation, tweeted on Monday that “independent-minded voters” should vote for a Republican Congress “because shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties.”

If Republicans secure a House majority, they plan to use the federal debt ceiling as leverage to demand that Biden accept deep spending cuts. They would also seek to make the 2017 individual tax cuts passed under Trump permanent and protect the corporate tax cuts that Democrats have unsuccessfully tried to reverse over the past two years.”

Control of Capitol Hill would give Republicans the power to block aid to Ukraine, but they are more likely to slow or pare back the flow of weapons and economic assistance to Kyiv than stop it.


Biden has warned that a Republican victory could weaken the foundations of U.S. democracy itself. “Democracy is literally on the ballot,” he said at a rally in Yonkers, New York, on Sunday.

Many Republican candidates have echoed Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in his 2020 election defeat. Some of them could end up as governors or election administrators in battleground states and play a central role in the 2024 presidential race.

Trump supporters, spurred by his false election claims, have threatened and harassed election workers and voters.

But the White House said on Monday that law enforcement had not reported any specific, credible election-related threats.

With narrow control of the House and the Senate, Biden’s Democrats helped him to fulfill campaign promises to boost clean energy, fight the COVID-19 pandemic and finance the rebuilding of some crumbling roads and bridges.

But surging inflation and concerns about high crime have led many voters to sour on his leadership.

Only 40% of Americans approve of his job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday.

Despite Biden’s warnings about democracy, many of his fellow Democrats have emphasized more practical matters, such as their work to lower prescription drug prices and defend the Social Security safety-net program.

While Democrats also campaigned on abortion rights, opinion polls show that has faded as a top voter concern.

More than 42 million Americans have already cast their ballots, either in person or through the mail, according to the US Elections Project, which tracks early voting.

Because some states allow ballots to be mailed on election day, experts say it might be days or weeks before the outcome of some close races – and control of Congress – is clear.

Thus far, polling problems have not been widely reported.

In Georgia, where one of the nation’s most closely contested Senate races is unfolding, election officials in Cobb County were working on an agreement to extend voting options for 1 036 people who had requested mail ballots but did not receive them.

County officials said about half of the voters either voted early or received a replacement ballot overnight, and recommended that the rest vote in person.

“I’ve had to miss a lot of classes to make sure I could come in person,” said Alyse Martin, 20, who said she traveled six hours from Washington back to Cobb County after her absentee ballot never arrived. “But I think it will all be worth it in the end.”