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Midterm elections: Polls put Democrats in lead to take House as Trump defends 'racist' ad at Ohio rally

President Donald Trump attends rallies in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri on last day of campaigning

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
,Samuel Osborne
Monday 05 November 2018 21:40 GMT
Barack Obama brands deployment of troops to border a 'political stunt'

Donald Trump was making his last plea to the American people on Monday, attending three rallies in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri just hours ahead of polls opening in crucial midterm elections.

With control of Congress at stake, former President Barack Obama was also out at an event in Fairfax, Virginia, to try and give the Democrats a boost.

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday with all 435 seats of the House of Representatives up for re-election as well as 35 Senate seats, hundreds of state legislature, local mayoral races, and special ballot provisions.

Republicans currently control both the houses of the US congress, although Mr Trump has warned about what a change would mean or his agenda.

“It's all fragile. Everything I told you about, it can be undone and changed by the Democrats if they get in,” Mr Trump told supporters in a conference call.

He has also admitted Republicans could lose control of the lower House, but has not shown anything but his characteristic bombastic confidence at his numerous political rallies.

Some of the key races are also the most expensive in what is the most expensive overall election in US history, clocking at $5bn plus in spending.

In Texas, Democrat Beto O'Rourke and Republican incumbent Ted Cruz face off for a US Senate seat. In Florida there are two races of note: Republican Governor Rick Scott vies for a US Senate seat against Democrat Bill Nelson and Democratic Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum looks to become the state's first African-American governor against Republican Ron DeSantis.

In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams looks to become the country's first African-American female governor as she runs against Republican Brian Kemp. Mr Kemp has been called to resign from his state government post of secretary of state since his office is tasked with monitoring elections, particularly should neither of them garner 50 per cent of the vote and a runoff occurs. Mr Kemp has been accused of voter suppression and is also investing Democrats over a possible cybersecurity vulnerability of the state's voter registration page they reported to his office.

Republican Mike DeWine was joined by the president in Ohio as he runs against a former director in Barack Obama's administration, Richard Cordray.

There are numerous tight House races across the Midwest as well. Democrats will need to pick up 24 more seats in order to "flip" control to them.

You can see how the events of the last day of campaigning before the midterms unfolded in our live blog below

Please allow a moment for the liveblog to load


Hello and welcome to the latest updates on the final day before the US midterm elections.

On Tuesday, voters will decide between Donald Trump's politics and the Democratic Party's campaign to end the GOP's monopoly in Washington and in statehouses across the nation.

All 435 seats in the US House are up for re-election, 35 Senate seats are in play, as are almost 40 governorships and the balance of power in virtually every state legislature. 

While he is not on the ballot, President Trump himself has acknowledged that the 2018 midterms, above all, represent a referendum on his presidency. 

Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 09:36
Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 09:47

A meteorologist has warned that the tornadoes which are expected to batter the southeastern US on Monday evening could "play a big role" in the midterm elections on Tuesday.

Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 10:19
Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 11:09

Donald Trump headlined an election rally in Macon, Georgia on Sunday afternoon, and appeared later in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in support of Republican Brian Kemp, who is running for Georgia governor, and Rep Marsha Blackburn, who is seeking an open Senate seat in Tennessee. 

President Trump praised Mr Kemp as a "strong man" and "strong personality" and said he would become a great governor for Georgia. 

The president assailed Mr Kemp's Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, as "one of the most extreme far-left politicians in the entire country." 

Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 11:50

On Sunday, New York's former mayor, Michael Bloomberg, said he was pumping another $5m in national advertising into the final days before the midterm elections, urging voters to support Democrats because of his concern about "the direction of our nation".

Mr Bloomberg, the billionaire independent who is considering a 2020 presidential campaign as a Democrat, appears in a 2-minute ad which aired on Sunday during CBS's "60 Minutes". It will also air Monday on cable and broadcast networks. 

In the ad Mr Bloomberg says the nation needs to support Democrats to "send a signal to Republicans in Washington that they have failed to lead, failed to find solutions, and failed to bring us together". 

Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 12:07

The White House has pushed back against claims that Donald Trump's recent steps to secure the US's southern border were motivated by the upcoming election.

Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, said in an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday  that the president's moves had nothing to do with electoral politics.

"I've been involved in scores of conversations about stopping illegal immigration from Mexico and never once has there been a discussion of the political impact in US domestic politics," Mr Pompeo said.

"It has always been about securing the safety of the American people and securing our southern border."

President Trump is sending up to 15,000 US troops to the border to stave off a caravan of migrants slowly making its way through southern Mexico, hundreds of miles from the border.

He has also announced plans to try to end the constitutionally protected right of birthright citizenship for all children born in the US.

Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 12:44
Samuel Osborne5 November 2018 13:07

Donald Trump's  Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has been speaking about the midterms outside the White House.

She is concentrating on the economy, which has been Mr Trump's big talking point over the weekend.


Chris Stevenson5 November 2018 13:18

Mr Trump is holding three rallies today - in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri.

It is his last big push ahead of the elections on Tuesday.


Chris Stevenson5 November 2018 13:26

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