On the line: Trump, Democrats battle in campaign's final day

Andrew Cummings
November 7, 2018

In Cleveland, Trump bashed DeWine's Democratic opponent, Richard Cordray, whom he declared "a bad person" who "has hurt a lot of people".

Nevertheless, a series of firsts across the country signaled voters accepted unconventional candidates in an unconventional time in American history, electing two Native Americans, two Muslim women, two Latina women in Texas and the nation's first openly gay governor.

She added that she specifically wanted to campaign for former Rep. Ron DeSantis over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum because she is concerned that the Democratic candidate is "running as a socialist". So Democrats need to flip just two seats now held by the GOP in order to win control.

The GOP's hold on the majority was complicated by an unusually large number of retirements as well as persistent infighting between conservatives and centrists, with much of the conflict centered on the question of allegiance to Trump.

Abrams, who has received the support of Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities, would be the first black woman to become governor of a USA state if she wins. But on the early vote, Democrats are leading in a trio of suburban districts thought to be key to the party's effort to break the GOP's super majority in the House. This year there are a couple of extra senate elections as well, meaning there are 35 seats up for grabs. Joe Donnelly in IN and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. Victories in contested House races across Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota gave them cause for optimism.

The former president campaigned in recent days in Florida, Georgia, Indiana and IL for a slate of Democrats running in key Senate and gubernatorial races.

The final weeks of the campaign season were upended when, in a shocking development, authorities intercepted potential explosive devices targeting top Democratic Party leaders, including former President Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Other Democrats fighting for political survival included Missouri's Claire McCaskill, Indiana's Joe Donnelly and Bill Nelson of Florida.

Around a dozen races from New Jersey to Nevada were seen as coin flips or at least competitive, prompting each side to spend hundreds of millions of dollars. It was initially a three-way race featuring Walker, Democrat Mark Begich and Republican Mike Dunleavy. Others have pledged to pursue impeachment, although removal from office is unlikely so long as the GOP controls the Senate or maintains even a healthy minority.

But failures to recruit candidates in some of those races hurt the GOP, and Democrats won the fundraising battle. It appears to have been an effective strategy in places like in and Tennessee, an open Republican-held seat where Republican Marsha Blackburn staved off what could have been a serious challenge by former Governor Bredesen.

Midterm elections are typically hard for the party in power, and GOP incumbents were on defense in races across the country.

One in 4 Americans lives in the 125 congressional districts where no party is widely seen having a lock on Tuesday's vote.

Donald Trump is a factor for 65 percent of American voters - and of those, 39 percent said they oppose him versus only 26 percent in support.

Some voting problems reported Problems with voting machines prevented Americans from casting ballots in a dozen states, USA rights advocates said, following complaints about registration problems, faulty equipment and intimidation received during early balloting.

You can also follow CBC News reporters covering the midterms across the USA through CBC News Instagram stories here. Kim Davis, the clerk who famously refused to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, lost her re-election bid for the Rown County clerkship in Kentucky.

And long lines marked the first hours of voting in some precincts, including in Georgia, where some voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote in a hotly contested gubernatorial election. Some of the lines were due to election glitches.

"I have worked at this poll the last three elections and this is the biggest turnout ever", said Bev Heidgerken, 67, a volunteer at a polling place in Davenport, Iowa.

Exit polls conducted by CNN and other networks showed health care the driving issue for Democrats.

The 2018 U.S. mid-term election has already set records for early voting, and turnout appears to be up across the board. The federal government warned of active campaigns by Russian Federation and other nations to disrupt the elections.

Trump spent the day at the White House, tweeting, making calls, monitoring the races and meeting with his political team.

Election workers assist would-be voters at First Ward Creative Arts Academy on November 6, 2018, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Other reports by iNewsToday