Politics 06-11-2018

A divided US votes in mid-term elections full of expectation

The Americans began on Tuesday to vote in mid-term elections in a divided country that lives the war as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump, who could lose the parliamentary majority.

The polls opened at 06H00 (11H00 GMT) in the east of the country and high participation is expected in a race that generates a lot of excitement.

Trump's name does not appear on the ballot papers of these elections, but for weeks the White House tenant has reiterated that it is a referendum on his presidency.

The 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate, 36 governorships, as well as various local offices such as mayors, judges and sheriffs are at stake.

In the first mid-term elections, presidents often lose ground in Congress, although Trump, who during his tenure brought unemployment to a minimum of 3.7%, could knock down this precedent.

Faced with the risk that an advance of the Democrats in Congress will falter his government program, Trump undertook in the last hour of the campaign a marathon for three states that ended with a rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where he stated that " the republican agenda is the American dream. "

"Security and prosperity are at stake in this election," he said in that last act, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka.

The campaign was marked by violent incidents: the sending of explosive packages to prominent opposition leaders and the massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 people were killed.

The polarization of society reached unprecedented heights and when the president came to honor the victims, a demonstration of about 1,000 people came out to meet him.

- "The best economy in history" –

For the Democrats this is an opportunity to curb the power of a president whom they accuse of racist provocations and to spur the divisions in order to win votes.

In almost two years of government since its surprise victory in 2016, the chaotic and unpredictable Trump has had both cameras, but in these mid-term elections the balance of power in Congress could change.

In an editorial published on Fox News Monday, Trump said the United States "has the best economy in its history and hope has finally returned to the cities and towns" of the country.

But to the dismay of many of his fellow Republicans, in the last week Trump - instead of highlighting his achievements - has preferred to focus on a harsh speech - which some describe as racist - in which he has denounced illegal immigration as an "invasion" .

A few days before the elections, Trump sent more than 4,800 troops to the Mexican border and suggested that if the Central American migrants who marched by the thousands in caravans to the United States threw stones at the agents, they could respond with gunshots, retracted

- Facebook blocks 30 accounts -

The big question and the key to the results will be participation, which in the mid-term elections is usually low and in 2014 it was 41.9%.

An indication of the interest generated by these elections is that more than 30 million anticipated votes had already been issued in the states that allow this modality, compared to a figure of 22 million in the elections four years ago.

"The elections of tomorrow may be the most important of our lives," said former President Barack Obama, who over the weekend went out to campaign to raise a Democrat whose seat is in danger in Indiana.

Amidst the expectation, the intelligence and security agencies issued a warning against the threat of foreign interference, assuring that until now there was no indication that the electoral infrastructure has been compromised.

But the surveillance was maximum and the social network Facebook announced on Monday night that it blocked some 30 accounts on its platform and another 85 on the Instagram network because of concerns that they might be linked to foreign entities and intended to interfere with the elections.

- How does the Latino electorate behave? -

These elections also mark the debut of new faces that have emerged as great promises in the political landscape.

One of them is the New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who after surprisingly winning the Democratic primary in September in the Bronx and Queens district, is now on track to become the youngest woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.

When she defeated the veteran Joe Crowley, the Puerto Rican girl left everyone speechless and now this Latina, who defines herself as a socialist, became the symbol of a wave of minority women democrats who are revolutionizing the party elite.

In these elections, the Latino community, which is the largest minority in the country with 59 million people, could break records of representation.

The question is how this vote, of about 29 million people, behaves, against the rhetoric against Trump's immigration, which in the 2016 elections was supported by 30% of the Latino electorate.

AFP

 
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