Americans vote in Key election for Trump

Polling stations opened at 0600 (1100 GMT) on the US East Coast

Polling stations opened at 0600 (1100 GMT) on the US East Coast

Americans are voting in nationwide elections that are being seen as a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency.

Polling stations opened at 06:00 (11:00 GMT) on the East Coast, as Republicans and Democrats battle for control of the two houses of Congress.

Governor posts and seats in state legislatures are also up for grabs.

The mid-term elections come halfway through Mr Trump’s four years in office and follow a divisive campaign.

All 50 states and Washington DC are going to the polls, and voter turnout is expected to be high.

Mr Trump attended three rallies on the final day of campaigning on Monday, telling his supporters: “Everything we have achieved is at stake tomorrow.”

Barack Obama – on the campaign trail for the Democratic party – said “the character of our country is on the ballot”. The former president tweeted the vote “might be the most important of our lifetimes”.

Americans are voting for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of 100 seats in the Senate – the two bodies that make up Congress. Governors are also being chosen in 36 out of 50 states.

If Republicans maintain their hold on both the Senate and the House of Representatives, they could build on their agenda and that of President Trump.

But if the Democrats wrest control of one or both chambers, they could stymie or even reverse Mr Trump’s plans.

Pollsters suggest Democrats may win the 23 seats they need to take over the House of Representatives, and possibly 15 or so extra seats.

In the Senate, the Democrats are expected to fall short: They would need to keep all their seats and claim two Republican ones to win control.

Asked on Monday how he would handle a lower chamber controlled by his political opponents, the president appeared to concede it was a risk.

“We’ll just have to work a little bit differently,” he told reporters.

Presidents have always commanded attention. Theodore Roosevelt called the White House his “bully pulpit” – the place from which he could demand attention and advance his agenda.

But Donald Trump has his own bully pulpit, 55 million Twitter followers and a penchant for saying the outrageous. -BBC

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