2018 election preview

Rachel Vogt, Staff Writer

How will the 2018 United States midterm elections affect the nation? The midterm elections will mostly be held on November 6, with the primary season running from March to September.

This year, voters will be deciding 35 of the 100 seats in the US Senate. Senators serve six year terms, with one third of the Senate being re-elected every two years. The midterms also decide who makes up all 435 members of the US House of Representatives, the lower of the two chambers of Congress.

The president’s approval rating is generally a good indicator for how his party will do and Republican President Donald Trump’ is historically low at around 40 percent. For comparison, Democratic President Barrack Obama’s approval rating was at 45 percent before the 2010 midterms here the Democrats saw some of the biggest electoral losses in U.S. history.

President Trump has made claims that Russia will try to rig the midterms against him, because he has been “tough” on them.

He sent out a tweet stating “I am very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!”

The latest US midterm polls are saying that the Senate map is more favorable to Republicans, who are hoping to expand on their narrow 51-49 seat majority by toppling several red-state Democratic incumbents.

A recent CNN poll has the Democrats favored over the Republicans, with 54 percent of likely voters saying they support the Democrat in their House district, with 41 percent backing a Republican.

However, the very influential FiveThirtyEight website (which tracks polling across the nation) says the Democrats have a 77 percent chance of winning control of the House of Representatives. When it comes to the Senate, the Democrats only have a 19.2 percent chance of winning control.

A key factor in who will gain control of both the Senate and House of Representatives will be what party gets the most of their own supporters out to vote.

How do these factors regarding the midterm elections affect current President Donald Trump and the remainder of his time in office? The make-up of Congress’ two chambers could impact his ability to govern and pass laws into affect.

Of the 35 Senate seats up for reelection this year, 26 are held by Democrats and nine by Republicans. In total, the Senate is made up of 51 Republican seats and 47 Democrats, with two independents. This means that the Democratic party needs to keep all of their seats and win back two from the Republican party.

In the lower chamber of Congress, the Democratic party will need to grasp 20 more seats to control the House of Representatives.

A Congress controlled by the Democrats will oppose funding his border wall with Mexico, block further tax cuts and stop his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. It would also see the party gain seats on Congressional committees with the power to investigate the Trump administration.

However, the most important affect a Democratic Congress may have on President Donald Trump’s campaign would be triggering articles of impeachment (the legal process which can remove a sitting president from office).