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The US midterm elections have arrived

The US midterm elections have arrived

Marking the end of a tense election cycle, the midterm elections in the United States will decide how much power the Democrats and Republicans will have in the US government moving forward. 

Usually in US midterm elections, the party in power tends to lose seats, as was the case in 2010, and this year looks to follow that trend, with Democrats expected to have a good chance of getting a majority in the House, though the Senate looks like it will stay Republican.

One of the most high profile races is in Texas, where for the Senate Republican incumbent Ted Cruz is going against Democrat Beto O'Rourke, with the latter having raised the most of any candidate in this election cycle at over $69 million, despite his chances of winning remaining low. O'Rourke's funds are only the tip of the iceberg, as this campaigning season has turned into the most expensive in history with campaign spending totaling $5.2 billion, beating the previous record set by 2016 at $4.4 billion.

Equally popular is the gubernatorial race happening in Florida, where Democrat Andrew Gillum faces Republican Ron DeSantis, and a victory for Gillum would produce the state's first African-American governor. The race for governor in Georgia between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacy Abrams could produce not only the state's first African-American governor, but could make Abrams the first black female governor in the country. The race has drawn national attention for various issues including whether to allow counting absentee ballots, and more recently an announcement by Georgia's Secretary of State's Office that they are looking into an alleged hacking attempt into the state's voter registration system by the Democratic Party of Georgia. Kemp is currently Georgia's Secretary of State. 

After two years of a Republican majority and a Republican in the White House, this election will show whether the American public is approving of the performance of the current Congress, based on their confirmation of two conservative Supreme Court justices and the tax cuts signed last December. This election will also act as a gauge for the approval of president Trump's job performance, and how that compares to his approval ratings, which currently sits at around 42 percent. 

Besides just candidates voters are deciding on, there are also several ballot initiatives that are significant as well. In Florida, voters will decide whether to restore voting rights to 1.5 million felons, one of three states that permanently bans felons from voting. States like North Dakota and Michigan are considering different forms of legalizing recreational marijuana, while other states like Utah and Missouri are considering ballot measures to legalize medicinal marijuana use. 

Voters will be going to polls on Tuesday November 6, with polls opening around 7 a.m. and closing at around 7 p.m., and results will be rolling in throughout the night, with most results being finalized by 2 a.m.

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