Election season returns in the United States. But did they not just elect Donald Trump as the President, you ask, so what elections? Well, there’s a reason the U.S. is called as having a direct election – the President is elected directly by the citizens of the country to a four-year term. So that leaves the members who make up the US Congress.
Like in India, the U.S. too has a bicameral legislature that makes up its Congress – the House of Representatives and the Senate. But, because the President of the United States is elected directly, the elections that elect members to the US Congress have taken on special importance. U.S. Midterm Elections: How Registering To Vote Is A Challenge And Women Could be the Key to Either Party’s Win.
What are the Midterm Elections?
The Founding Fathers of the United States set up a political system of checks involving frequent, rolling American elections in even-numbered years. The U.S. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators.
The members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are created within states according to population using the United States Census results. So this year, elections will be held to elect representatives from all 435 congressional districts across each of the 50 U.S. states.
When it comes to the Senate, each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. Currently, there are 100 senators representing the 50 states. Each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years approximately one-third of the Senate is up for election. So this year, 33 senators are up for re-election in 2018.
So because this election happens in the middle of a President’s term, they are called the ‘Mid-term elections.’
When are the midterm elections?
The midterm elections will take place on November 6.
Who will win the midterm elections?
The outcome of the elections will be significant for the future of Donald Trump’s presidency, and for the political agendas of the representatives of Republican and Democratic parties.
Fifty-one seats are needed for control of Senate and 218 are needed for the House. Currently, the Republicans hold 240 seats, and the Democrats hold 196. Democrats need to gain 24 seats to take control of the house.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows 50 percent of likely voters prefer Democrats, while 41 percent prefer Republican control. But, the controversy surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has riled up supporters of the Republican Party and hence the elections to many seats have now become a close race.
So Democrats have to win enough seats to maintain what they already have in the Congress and defeat incumbent Republican officials to win control of the Congress.
What happens if Democrats win the midterm elections?
If the Democrat Party gets a majority, party members could block a number of legislative policies put forth by Republicans and prevent them from being enacted.
Perhaps most importantly, if the Democrats were to take control of the House it would allow them to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump - something the president is very keen to avoid.
What happens if Republicans win the midterm elections?
Midterm elections, because they fall in the middle of a president’s term are often considered a referendum on his legislative policies in the two years he has been in office. If Republicans retain control of the Senate, some of Trump’s key agendas and campaign promises could be revived. The U.S. president has vehemently promised to repeal and replace the U.S. healthcare programme – Obamacare, for example, which Republican senators failed to do last year.
Donald Trump has been hard on the campaign trail, working to rally Republican supporters for his senators and those running for a seat in the House of representatives. And in less than two weeks, we will know if people have voted for Trump or against him.