WorldUS midterm elections: Your guide to what to look for as America goes to the polls
The US midterms: why they’re going to be huge
More than just a referendum on Trump, the midterms could shake up the current political (dis)order in Washington.
You might have heard that the 2018 United States midterm elections are only days away.
The midterms on Tuesday, November 6 are said to be the most important in years — some are even calling them the most important in American history.
But what even are midterms? Why are they so important let alone more important now? And what is going to happen?
Here's what to look for and what to expect as America takes to the polls.
What are the midterms?
The American midterm elections are held nationwide every four years, halfway through the sitting president's four-year term — hence the name 'the midterms'.
There are all sorts of elected positions on ballots but the main focus is on Congress — America's version of Australia's Parliament — which is made up of the House of Representatives (lower house) and the Senate (upper house).
Midterm elections: Former Donald Trump voter Richard Ojeda aims to flip key seat for Democrats
Richard Ojeda is a Democratic candidate in the Republican stronghold of West Virginia. Against all odds, the tough-talking former Trump voter could flip a pivotal midterms seat.
Representatives in the House serve two-year terms, which means all 435 House seats are up for re-election.
There are also governors' races in 36 states and three American territories this year, and a whole lot of lower level state and local races that you don't really need to know about — but if you are interested, here's a full list.
Some states are even voting on individual issues, including in Florida where constituents are deciding whether convicted felons who have served their time should regain the right to vote.
What's going to happen?
US President Donald Trump is NOT up for re-election until 2020, but the result will be seen as a marker of his success as President so far.
Twitter Takes Down 10,000 Accounts That Discouraged Voting In The US
With the hotly contested US midterm elections coming up this Tuesday, Twitter is cracking down on attempts at using the service to dissuade people from showing up at the polls. Between September and October of this year, Twitter deleted more than 10,000 bot accounts that posted messages aimed at convincing people not to vote, according to a report from Reuters. Twitter has since acknowledged the deletion, and in an email to Reuters, a spokesperson for the company said, "We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter.
Unfortunately for Mr Trump, the party of the sitting President almost always loses congressional seats in midterm elections.
This is because midterms are seen as referenda on the current administration, and it's much easier to energise and mobilise voters who lost the presidential election than voters who believe their preferred candidate is doing a great job.
A quick look at the voter turnout at previous US midterms compared to presidential election years
In the current situation, the Democrats need to net 23 seats to win back control of the House and claim the 218
The New York Times estimates between 60 and 70 races are closely contested, and that realistically around 30 of those will determine whether the Democrats reclaim the house and by how much.
First-time immigrant voters: 'I now feel one with America'
Arizona - Tuesday's midterm elections are seen as a referendum on the US president's first two years in office.
According to FiveThirtyEight, a leading American
In the 100-seat
To have control of the Senate the Democrats need to gain at least two
But winning those two seats won't be easy.
Just nine of the Senate seats up for grabs are held by Republicans and, according to FiveThirtyEight, the Republicans have a six-in-seven shot to maintain control of the Senate and are even likely to build on their advantage.
Why do midterms matter?
They matter because whichever party controls Congress control the passage of laws.
Basically, if the Democrats win big, Mr Trump's right-wing agenda would be hampered and he would struggle to enact his desired tax cuts, immigration restrictions, and anti-abortion policies.
But, if the Republicans hold onto both houses, it would embolden the 45th President.
Facebook pulls controversial Trump anti-immigration ad
Social network says ad violated its rules against "sensational content." © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. screen-shot-2018-11-05-at-9-49-09-am The move by the world's largest social network comes after major television outlets, including CNN, NBC and Fox News, refused to run the ad with some deeming it "racist," according to The Daily Beast. The 30-second ad features Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of killing two California sheriff's deputies in 2014. It attempts to falsely connect Bracamontes' crimes to the migrant caravan making its way from Mexico to the US border.
For example, in the first two years of Barack Obama's presidency, he was backed by a Democratic Congress and was able to pass his agenda.
But in the 2010 midterms, Republicans gained control of the Senate and proceeded to obstruct Mr Obama's policy moves everywhere they could.
It's likely the Democrats will use similar tactics should they find themselves in control of Congress.
Outside of Congress, the races for Governor — the equivalent of a State Premier in Australia — also have an underlying importance.
Governors will be in control of drawing electoral district maps following the 2020 US Census.
Sitting governors will be able to manipulate district lines to align with their voter bases — a process known as 'gerrymandering' — which would provide crucial advantages to their party in every state and national election until the 2030 US Census.
The position of Governor has also been a traditional proving ground for those with future ambitions for high office or positions within a White House administration.
Seventeen of the 45 US presidents have also served as Governors — think Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton or George W Bush — so it's possible that some of the current
You Could Win a Free Trip to New Zealand, Spain, or Peru—Just for Voting
There are plenty of reasons to cast your ballot this year, but if you're a Millennial with wanderlust, Contiki has a particularly compelling pitch.
How about the Russia investigation?
If the Democrats win big this time, it is expected that they will move to check Mr Trump wherever they can.
They also have the ability to probe and investigate the Trump administration and his 2016 election campaign.
Democrats would gain control over who to subpoena and where to focus inquiries — a process that has been closely monitored by the current Republican-controlled Congress.
Democrats have already made over 100 formal requests related to the investigations into the Trump administration and the 2016 campaign, which Republicans have mostly deflected.
So with Democrat control of Congress, subpoenas and inquiries could be coming thick and fast for the president and his team.
Also, the more Democrats there are in the Senate, the greater the possibility of impeachment.
The threat is not lost on Mr Trump, with Republicans imploring their supporters to vote by threatening that a
If they gain control of the House of Representatives — which experts predict they just might — the lower house could easily vote to impeach Mr Trump.
But to remove a President by impeachment, as was the case with Richard Nixon following the infamous Watergate scandal, they would need a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
And even if the Democrats win all available Senate seats in the midterms, achieving that majority would not be possible without a stack of Republican votes.
So hypothetically Mr Trump could be impeached, but remain President — just as Democrat Bill Clinton did when he was impeached following the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Opinions | What the U.S. can learn from Australia’s election process
Would Australia's compulsory voting system work in the United States?
What are the key issues being debated?
As is the case in any election there are the main policy issues alongside the personal attacks and underlying tensions.
This year the midterms are being fought on three major policy battlegrounds — jobs, healthcare, and immigration.
The Democrats claim that Mr Trump and his Republicans are trying to gut the country's popular entitlement programs and strip away important
The Democrats are also slamming Mr Trump's 'trade wars' for hurting US jobs, while Republicans point to the falling unemployment rate since Mr Obama left office as evidence of their economic prowess.
But dwarfing both issues is immigration, with Mr Trump upping his anti-immigration rhetoric and claiming that the Democrats are behind the caravan of thousands of mainly Honduran migrants heading towards the US-Mexico border.
While the focus on stopping the caravan will resonate with his Republican base, Democrats will point to border detentions, deportations and the mass separation of migrant children and parents as a hallmark of Mr Trump's immigration policy.
But despite those key policy areas, many will be influenced by Judge Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearings, which left a bitter taste in the mouths of Americans on both sides.
Republicans slammed the Democrats for their obstructionist tactics during the hearings, while many Democrats and liberals saw Republican Judge Kavanaugh's appointment in the face of multiple sexual assault accusations as
Mr Trump's 2016 triumph despite multiple sexual assault allegations of his own, as well as the growth of the #MeToo movement, has meant he has had to face protests by women worldwide from day one.
Now, on November 6, more women are running for office at every level of American Government than ever before.
Plenty of issues are activating Americans and driving them to the polls, but none more so than how they feel about Mr Trump himself.
The President is still a hugely polarising figure, and whatever the result, it will be seen as a marker of his presidency and his prospects for re-election in 2020.
When will we know
The first results are likely to feed in sometime on Wednesday morning AEST as polling stations close.
Analysts will be able to make their predictions, but in a country where sometimes up to half of
Whatever the result, the fallout will be massive for US politics and the state of the country for the coming years.
Lady Gaga applauds women after historic midterm elections.
Lady Gaga was honored by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Thursday night alongside Harrison Ford, and took a quick moment to react to Tuesday night’s midterm elections.
What’s at stake in the U.S. midterm elections?
The U.S. midterms are being seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump, and control of Congress is up for grabs. Lyndsay Duncombe explains how the ...
Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6
This week Craig Benzine talks about the importance of elections. But he isn't going to focus on presidential elections, but instead those of the strongest part of ...
Thursday, 21 march 2019
Staff at St Mary's Star of the Sea are not […]
Wednesday, 20 march 2019
But Muslims are asking them to come inside instead. Waikato Mongrel Mob president Sonny Fatu says his group is willing to defend Hamilton's Jamia Masjid Mosque to prevent another terrorist attack. Waikato Muslim Association president Dr Asad Mohsin, who spoke to Fatu regarding the offer, […]
Wednesday, 20 march 2019
Britain's path out of the E.U. is being held up by the events of […]
Thursday, 21 march 2019
As the seconds ticked by on the doomed Indonesian flight, the pilot handed the controls to his co-pilot and flipped through the pages of a technical manual, trying to figure out what was […]
Thursday, 21 march 2019
A Geraldton photographer spends eight years lining up the perfect shot of the International Space Station passing the surface of the […]
Friday, 22 march 2019
One week on from the Christchurch attacks that killed 51, Al Noor mosque imam Gamal Fouda thanks the people of New Zealand for their "extraordinary" show of solidarity and described them as martyrs of the nation. Here is the partial, lightly-edited transcript of what Mr Fouda said at his […]
Police said a millionaire’s murder was a robbery. The truth led to an international hunt for ‘The...Wednesday, 20 march 2019
More than a decade after a young Canadian real estate developer was killed in San Juan, the victim's family finally has justice […]
Thursday, 21 march 2019
Expedition operators are concerned at the number of climbers' bodies that are becoming exposed on Mount Everest as its glaciers melt. Nearly 300 mountaineers have died on the peak since the first ascent attempt and two-thirds of bodies are thought still to be buried in the snow and ice. […]