Washington : Thousands of people in the United States will exercise their franchise in the midterm elections on Tuesday, which is seen as a litmus test for Donald Trump’s near two-year-old presidency so far. Voting will be held in all 435 seats of the House of Representatives, 35 Senate seats and 39 governorships. The midterm polls are held every four years. They are generally held in the halfway stage of the US President’s four-year term, Al Jazeera reported.
Polling will open in Vermont at 5 am (local time). Several other states on the East Coast will begin voting between 6 am (local time) and 7 am (local time). Polling places will remain open for 12 hours. In the House of Representatives, members serve two-year terms. The Senate has 100 seats and each member serves a six-year term. However, only 35 seats are up for grabs. The midterm polls are considered as a referendum on Trump’s divisive policies that has taken the world by storm.
Trump’s Republican Party currently holds 235 seats in the House of Representatives, while the Democratic Party has 193 seats. The Democrats need to win 23 seats to control the House. In the Senate, the Republicans hold a slim majority — 51:49, as per the report.
Traditionally, the ruling party of the US President loses seats in the midterm polls, while the opposition parties gain hold of seats. Various opinion polls have suggested the Republicans holding on to the Senate and the Democrats’ chance to snatch a majority in the House of Representatives.
Both Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama have crisscrossed the country for massive rallies, with both the leaders indulging themselves in political mudslinging. This year’s midterm elections are centred on immigration, jobs and healthcare facilities.
While the Democrats blame Trump for his trade conflicts with other countries, which has impacted jobs in the country, the Republicans are pinpointing the Democrats for its hand behind the migrant caravan that is heading for the US from Central America.