Republicans and Democrats on Monday traded final blows ahead of the polls which could upend Joe Biden’s presidency, weaken Western support for Ukraine and even open the door to a comeback bid by Donald Trump.
Ahead of the polls, Biden acknowledged that Democrats face an uphill battle to retain control of Congress, telling supporters that “if we’re able to hold on, we’re going to be in an incredible shape.”
Democrats are trying to retain majorities in Congress for the final two years of President Joe Biden’s first term. However, early projections show that Republicans are favoured to win control of the House.
“I know that sounds like a very high expectation,” he admitted, adding that “we’re up against some of the darkest forces we’ve ever seen in our history.”
Biden, who has framed his closing argument as a warning that American democracy is on the line, was set to close out days of campaigning for Democratic candidates at a rally Monday evening near Baltimore.
What Are Possible Outcomes And What Would That Mean?
Democrats and Republicans could split control of the House and Senate or one party could capture both chambers. Democrats have held the House since the 2018 election during former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Buoyed by voter frustration over the economy and by favourable redistricting, Republicans are favoured to win the House. A Republican-led chamber would mean President Joe Biden’s agenda gets halted.
The Senate, which Democrats hold with the slimmest of advantages, could go either way. At stake is control over moving forward presidential appointments, like judges and Cabinet officials, as well as legislation.
As chief executive, Biden will retain his veto power regardless of how control of Congress turns out.
Results To Likely Determine Biden’s Prospect Of Second Term
Former President Donald Trump is using the midterms to repeatedly tease a possible 2024 White House run, even as he faces criminal probes over taking secret documents and trying to overturn the 2020 election.
With polls showing Republicans in line to seize the House of Representatives, the increasingly far-right party eyed snarling the rest of Biden’s first term in aggressive investigations and opposition to spending plans.
Kevin McCarthy, who would likely become speaker of the House — placing him second in line to the president — refused to rule out impeachment proceedings.
“We will never use impeachment for political purposes,” McCarthy told CNN. “That doesn’t mean if something rises to the occasion, it would not be used at any other time.”
One key question remained whether the US Senate would also flip, leaving Biden as little more than a lame duck.
With Congress out of Democrats’ hands, Biden would see his legislative agenda collapse.
That would raise questions over everything from climate crisis policies, which the president will be laying out at the COP27 conference in Egypt this week, to Ukraine, where Republicans are reluctant to maintain the current rate of US financial and military support.
Just how badly Tuesday goes will also likely determine whether Biden, who turns 80 this month and is the oldest president ever, will seek a second term or step aside, plunging his party into fresh uncertainty.
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