US heads into midterm elections as Democrats attempt Senate takeover

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Americans will be voting today in the midterm elections to vote in their choices for the Senate and the Congress. Taking place two years into a volatile Trump era, this has been described as one of the most hyped and breathlessly awaited midterm elections in American history.

The Democrats will be attempting to overturn a slim 51-49 Republican majority in the Senate, and analysts say this is a difficult task because only 9 out of the 35 contested seats are in Republican hands and  a number of the Democratic senators up for re-election are running in states that Donald Trump won comfortably.

Democrats will need to gain 23 seats to gain a majority in the House. History and the polls are on their side heading into Tuesday. For all midterm elections since the end of World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 25 seats in the House, according to Gallup. That number jumps to 37 seats for presidents with approval ratings below 50 percent.

The party that gets the most of its voters to the voting booth will be the one that wins the close races and congressional control.

Polls have indicated that voters on both sides are a lot more fired up for this election than most midterms, when turnout is typically much lower than years when the president is on the ballot. For example, only 38.5 percent of voters turned out to vote in the 2014 midterms, according to the U.S. Census, compared with 56 percent in the 2016 presidential election.

Some believe that Republicans generally have a turnout advantage in midterm elections. While GOP turnout was higher in the last two midterms (2010 and 2014), an analysis by FiveThrityEight found since 1978 their advantage tends to evaporate when a Republican is in the White House.

A poll Sunday from ABC News and The Washington Post found that 80 percent of registered voters are “certain to vote” or have already voted, compared with 65 percent in 2014 and 71 percent in 2010.

Celebrities have been urging Americans to come out and vote, telling them it is the power they have to change what they don’t like about their society. Below is Alicia Keys, urging Americans to vote:

 

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