NOVEMBER 6, 2018 will be recorded in political history as the day of the most consequential midterm elections of our time.
As of press time, we now know that a record number of Americans voted in the polls, sent in, and dropped off their ballots ahead of time, to make their voices heard two years since President Donald Trump took office.
As The Filipino Channel’s daily newscast “Balitang America” reported, the stakes couldn’t be higher, with 35 Senate seats, 435 House seats, and 36 gubernatorial seats up for grabs.
This election will also determine if the Republican Party will keep the majority in the Senate and the House of the Legislative branch of the U.S. government, especially after the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as Justice of the Supreme Court, tilting the balance of power leaning conservative.
The winner of the gubernatorial races will have consequences in future elections, especially the redistricting of states.
All these have a lot to do with the concern about the balance of power and the need for the checks and balance to function as it should as mandated by the Constitution to protect the integrity of our democracy.
Democrats need to win 23 seats to win back the majority in the House. The US Senate has 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats. To win back the Senate majority, all incumbent Senate Democrats need to win and flip two more. Republicans also have control of most governorships all over the nation, holding 33 to the Democrats’ 16 seats.
Ahead of the midterm elections, Real Clear Politics released findings that may indicate how the election may change the political landscape in America.
RealClearPolitics is a political news and polling aggregator that looks into the results from major polls of all political colors — conservative, liberal, centrist, etc.
For the period October 14 to November 3, 2018, just within a little more than two weeks before the November 6 Midterm Elections, RealClearPolitics reported that a majority of Americans — 54.3 percent — feel the country is headed in the wrong direction. Only 39.5 percent believe the United States is going in the right direction.
President Donald Trump’s closing message in his campaign trail: a vote a Republican is a vote for Trump. Contrary to requests of the Republican Party leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, for Trump to focus on the economic gains in the past two years under Republican control, Trump chose immigration as his closing argument because he said “it works” to push Republicans to vote.
Trump has been criticized for fabricating a border crisis, painting a picture of “invasion” of America by more than 3,500 asylum seekers from Central America— men. women, children — walking through Mexico to try the legal recourse of applying for asylum in the United States to flee from violence and hunger in their countries.
Trump sent 15,000 active duty troops to the border, a move responded to by military officials with obedience to the commander-in-chief even though they expressed there is no imminent border crisis and that the U.S. military would not have anything to do anything with asylum seekers at the border.
The president also doubled down in the use of scare tactics and vilification of asylum seekers saying they are criminals, drug peddlers, gang members, and are infiltrated with terrorist Middle Eastern without offering solid proof. He is using the same scare and hate tactics that catapulted him to the presidency in 2016, blaming the Democrats and the free press alongside the asylum seekers and immigrants.
On the other hand, the Democrats’ closing argument focused on delivering health care coverage, protecting those with a pre-existing condition — issue #1 for voters which has been the subject of the GOP’s obsession to repeal in almost 10 years.
The Democrats also campaigned on repealing the permanent tax breaks Trump and his Republican cohorts have given to the richest of the rich Americans and Corporations, give more tax breaks to the middle class, and protect social services including education, Social Security and Medicare.
They also vowed to fight for higher wages, and better benefits for all workers; protections for consumers and the environment; equality for all, ending discrimination against people regardless of their race, gender, who they choose to love, and continued to campaign on passing a comprehensive immigration reform to strengthen America.
DID YOU VOTE? Did you vote for a red wave or a blue wave? We would know today and in the next few days how Americans voted to help steer the country in the right direction.
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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos