A keenly distributed US electorate voted Tuesday to select a new convention and make an interim statement on President Donald Trump, in a mood that might shift the power balance in Washington and change the presidency of Trump for the next two years .
The expectation was that the turnout of voters would be very high, despite the fact that bad weather in nearly the entire Eastern American polling stations across the country had long lines, and in some cases there were problems with voting machines, partly because of the wet conditions .
The main issues for voters were health care, immigration and the economy, according to opinion polls, although Trump, who blustered across the country, was afraid of Central American immigrants moving north toward the US-Mexico border, also involved many voters.
"Of course it is motivation, I only became a citizen last year," said Kevin Ombija, a first voter originally from Kenya, who now lives in Washington. "Issues or immigrants are very dear to me … I definitely want to vote against everything [Trump]. "
In Orange County, California, William Moody has cast his vote for Republicans, even while offering qualified support for Trump.
"I defend his conviction that the border must be protected, [but] maybe not as strict as he would, "said Moody. The president is his own worst enemy with some of his remarks. If he would calm it down and just do his work quietly, it would all help us. & # 39;
All 435 seats in the House of Representatives were at stake Tuesday, plus 35 of the 100 seats in the US Senate and 36 of the 50 state governors.
Opinion polls and analysts suggested that opposition Democrats had an advantage in the struggle for control of the House. Democrats preferred to win more home seats than they do now, and they needed a general profit of 23 to recapture the majority of the House.
Republicans called on Trump to gather his supporters to help maintain their narrow 51-49 lead in the Senate. Of the 35 seats of the senate at stake on Tuesday, the Democrats held 26 and the Republicans held nine.
Midterm elections are traditionally seen as a referendum about a sitting president, but this election seems especially so, partly because Trump held an unusually large number of meetings to support the republicans and urged supporters to consider the elections as a confirmation of his policies.
During those meetings, Trump consistently stoked the fear of immigrants and emphasized that his political opponents supported things such as "open borders" and crime.
"Democrats want to invite caravans after a caravan of illegal aliens enters our country, I do not think so," Trump said at a meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with images of the caravans of Central American migrants slowly moving through Mexico. "No country can exceed its limits, and that is an invasion, I do not care what they say, I do not care what the false media say, that is an invasion in our country."
Democrats received a number of high-profile campaigners, including former President Barack Obama, who gathered voters in his home state of Illinois and told them that Trump's deployment of US troops at the border in response to the caravans was a "political stunt." ; used to be.
& # 39; If you vote in Illinois, you can reject that kind of politics. If you participate in the political process, you can control bad behavior. If you vote in Illinois, you can choose hope over fear & # 39 ;, Obama.
The early rise was enormous in several states, especially for an interim election, when the total turnout of voters often struggles to reach 40 percent of voters.
Democrats felt increasingly optimistic about their chances of taking back control of the House. Last week the Democratic leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, predicted that this would happen.
Trump a central issue
But Trump not only fought against the Democrats in this year's elections, he also fought against history.
"The big picture is that interim elections are against the party of the president," said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. "I think there will be no difference here, the Democrats will do very well in the House of Representatives, in the governors and in the state laws."
Trump's low function approval was also a concern for Republicans. RealClearPolitics set the average approval of Trump at 43 percent, with a rejection of 53 percent. An exit poll at CNN's voters showed today that 55 percent rejected Trump's performance, while 44 percent approved it. Moreover, 56 percent of the respondents felt that the country was on the wrong track and 41 percent said it was on the right track.
"Intermediate history is pretty grim in the sense that the president's party usually loses ground in the meantime, and it's usually a matter of how much ground they lose," said Kyle Kondik, an analyst at the University of Virginia. "That's especially true if a president is not popular, like this president."
Kondik noted that during the 29 interim elections to the Congress held since 1900, the President's party lost house presidents in all countries except 1934, 1998 and 2002.
Historically, however, Republicans have been more reliable voters during the midterm elections. Gallup pollster Frank Newport said that this trend put pressure on Democrats to ensure that their supporters came out and voted.
"Under the expectation that Republican voters usually come more often, can democrats bring people who identify with the Democratic Party to appear and vote for their candidates?" he asked.
If the Democrats win enough seats in the House to win back the majority, Trump will be forced to tackle a change in power relations in Washington.
"The House has been a rubber stamp for the Trump agenda and it will no longer be a rubber stamp," said Jim Kessler of the centrist Democratic group Third Way. "Everything that is done must be on a two-fold basis."
Democrats hoped for a wave election that would give them control over the house and gubernatorial victories in major states such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Republicans in the last days counted on the hectic campaign rate of Trump to help them maintain or perhaps even expand their narrow Senate majority.