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US-Kongresswahl stellt Weichen für Trumps zweite Amtshälfte

Für Donald Trump wird es heute ernst
Für Donald Trump wird es heute ernst ©APA (AFP)
In Tuesday's US congressional elections, the course is set for the second half of the presidency by President Donald Trump.

All 435 representatives of the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 senators are elected. At the end of the election campaign in the US, Trump mobilized his supporters and warned against the success of the opposition Democrats in the congressional elections.

“The Democrats’ intentions are a socialist nightmare for our country,” Trump said on Monday afternoon (local time) in Cleveland, Ohio, during one of his last campaign appearances. Trump himself is not up for election, but the vote is also a referendum on his controversial policy. “In a sense, I’m running as well,” he said to cheering supporters.

First polling stations open on Tuesday at the East Coast at 6:00 am (local time, 12:00 pm CET). “You have to go to the polls,” Trump demanded, accusing the Democrats of openly “encouraging millions of illegal aliens to violate our laws and come to our country.” A democrat’s success would also have the effect of a “wrecking ball” on the economy. Of evidence, his claims were not covered as usual.

With meaningful results of the congressional elections is expected in the night on Wednesday central European time. In the congressional elections in the middle between two presidential elections usually gets the ruling party a pamphlet missed. According to polls, Trump’s Republicans are afraid of losing the majority in the House of Representatives. For the opposition Democrats would have to gain 23 seats. In the Senate – the second chamber – it is becoming apparent that the Republicans can maintain their tight margin from currently 51 to 49 seats.

Pollsters, however, still see races in five states governing Senate seats as undecided – in Indiana, Nevada, Missouri, Florida and Arizona. Should the Democratic candidates manage to get all these seats, it could come to a stalemate. But the Republicans would also have the advantage: In a stalemate decides the vote of Vice President Mike Pence.

Even a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives could be uncomfortable for Trump. The Democrats could then initiate numerous investigations against Trump. Their findings could form the basis for impeachment, which can be decided by a simple majority vote in the House of Representatives. It would be decided, however, on an impeachment in the Senate, which would require a two-thirds majority there. At the present time, such a majority is not foreseeable.

Trump war in dem stark polarisierenden Wahlkampf quasi im Dauereinsatz und hat das Thema Migration in den Mittelpunkt gerückt. Wegen eines Marsches lateinamerikanischer Migranten in Richtung der USA schickte er medienwirksam Tausende US-Soldaten an die Grenze zu Mexiko. Trump sprach von einer “Invasion” und behauptete, unter den Migranten seien Kriminelle und Menschen aus dem Nahen Osten.

Am Dienstag stehen mehrere Rennen unter besonderer Beobachtung, zum Beispiel das um den Senatssitz in Texas. Der demokratische Aufsteiger Beto O’Rourke ist dort im klassischerweise republikanisch wählenden Texas gegen den amtierenden Senator und früheren Präsidentschaftsbewerber Ted Cruz stark im Kommen. In Umfragen lag O’Rourke kurz vor der Abstimmung allerdings noch hinter Cruz.

Bewerbern wie O’Rourke könnte die sich abzeichnende hohe Wahlbeteiligung vor allem unter Jungwählern helfen. Die “Washington Post” hatte am Sonntag berichtet, in Texas hätten bereits mehr Menschen von der Möglichkeit des vorzeitigen Wählens Gebrauch gemacht, als dort bei den Kongresswahlen 2014 insgesamt abgestimmt haben. Auch in anderen Staaten wird wegen der vielen Frühwähler eine für die Kongresswahlen ungewöhnlich hohe Wahlbeteiligung erwartet.

However, this phenomenon is also considered as a further factor of uncertainty for the pollsters, whose models were rather based on a moderate election turnout. In some states, such as Florida, there are also exciting disputes over governorship posts under way. In addition, a number of local offices are awarded, for example in parliaments of the states or in courts. Local initiatives are also being voted on, including the legalization of marijuana in certain states.

(APA / dpa)

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