US midterm elections LIVE – Donald Trump faces referendum on his Presidency as voters head to the polls across America

By casting their votes, the American public has the opportunity to give the thumbs up or thumbs down to Trump’s controversial political agenda.

Long lines were seen at polling stations across the US – but problems with voting machines prevented some Americans from casting ballots in at least a dozen states.

A US Department of Homeland Security official said the agency had received reports of “sparse” voting technology failures, but said that so far they appeared to have had no significant impact.

The elections will determine whether Republicans keep control of the US Congress.

Trump and the Republicans are at great risk of losing the House of Representatives – which could paralyse his presidency.

It could also leave him open to possible impeachment – with many Democrats seeing the vote as a chance to voice their displeasure at Trump’s controversial tenure.

Earlier Trump slammed the Democrats for allegedly spreading a rumour about a Republican candidate sneaking off early from one of the President’s trademark rallies.

Polls have opened in America's eastern states including New York in the knife-edge contest which stirred Trump into trading verbal blows.

Clearly stung by the claims Josh Hawley, the Republican challenging Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, did a bunk from one his signature rallies, Trump angrily took to Twitter.

He tweeted: “There is a rumour, put out by the Democrats, that Josh Hawley of Missouri left the Arena last night early.  “It is Fake News.

“He met me at the plane when I arrived, spoke at the great Rally, & stayed to the very end. In fact, I said goodbye to him and left before he did. Deception!”

What we know so far?

Americans take to the polls in the high stake vote

  • If Trump's party loses control of the house, his opponents could lift the lid on his personal finances, spark fresh investigations into his alleged links to Russia
  • Loss of Congress majority could even trigger Trumps removal from office
  • Record voter turnout forecast amid concerns over ‘suspicious’ Facebook activity
  • Trump accuses Democrats of spread fake news
  • Emboldened Democrats have a chance to win majorities in Republican-controlled Congress
  • Beto O'Rouke, the Democrat candidate in Texas, will be the most closely watched senate race in the country because it will indicate if Republican support is holding up

In the week before Tuesday’s elections, the president has hosted no less than 11 rallies in eight states as he sought to pump prime support for the Republicans.

But Trump has mocked the size of Barack Obama's "small crowd" in a brutal war of words between the rivals ahead of today's midterm elections.

At a Republican rally in Georgia, Trump said: "I listened to President Obama speak today. He had a very small crowd. I have to be honest. They don't tell you that."

This followed a tweet three days ago in which the property tycoon claimed his "lines and crowds" were "far bigger" than the former Democratic president's.

Obama has accused the billionaire of "shamelessly lying" and "fear-mongering" after Trump told his supporters that the Democrats would "take a giant wrecking ball" to America if they're victorious.

Exchanging jibes, the rivals said the results of the knife-end vote would determine what kind of country Americans live in for the next two years.

While Trump is not on the ballot, this election is widely seen as a referendum on his time in office.

Emboldened Democrats have a chance to win majorities in Republican-controlled Congress — which is made up of two houses, the House Of Representatives and the Senate.

The US midterms – who's on the ballot?

  • The 2018 US midterm elections will see all 435 seats in the House of Representatives contested.
  • As well as the House, the Senate – the upper house in the Congress – will see 35 of the 100 seats contested.
  • At state level, 39 governorships will be contested.
  • Numerous local elections will also be taking place in states across the US for positions like State Representative, State Senator and local mayors.

If Trump's party lost control of the house, his opponents could lift the lid on his personal finances, spark fresh investigations into his alleged links to Russia and even trigger his removal from office, a process known as impeachment.

Obama and Trump know how high the stakes are in this bitterly fought race.

Both men came out swinging at last minute rallies around the country to drum up support fore their parties' candidates.

Obama slammed the current president, without addressing him by name, and Republicans for what he described as their "divisive policies and repeated lies".

He hammered his opponents for trying to revoke his signature healthcare while also claiming to support the law's protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Obama told supporters in Gary, Indiana, during a rally for Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly: "The only check right now on the behaviour of these Republicans is you and your vote.

The two houses of Congress – could Trump lose both?

  • The midterm elections are being held halfway through Trump's presidential term and the make-up of Congress's two chambers could impact his ability to govern.
  • Of the 35 Senate seats up for election this year, 26 are held by Democrats (including two independents allied to them) and nine by Republicans.
  • In total, the US Senate is made up of 51 Republican seats and 47 Democrats, plus those two independents.
  • This means that the Democrats need to keep all of their seats and win back two from the Republicans – but 10 of the Dems' seats are in states which Trump won in the 2016 US Election.
  • In the lower chamber of Congress, the Democrats need to pick up 20 seats to control the House of Representatives.

"The character of our country is on the ballot.

"There has got to be consequences when people don’t tell the truth.

"When words stop meaning anything, when people can just lie with abandon, democracy can’t work.

"Nothing works… Society doesn’t work unless there are consequences.”

Meanwhile, Trump told a crowd in Georgia: "This election will decide whether we build on the extraordinary prosperity that we’ve achieved –  or whether we let the radical Democrats take control of Congress and take a giant wrecking ball to our economy and to the future of our nation.”

Trump campaigned alongside Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is in a tight race with Democrat Stacey Abrams for the governor's office.

Texas Senate race – Cruz vs O'Rourke

  • Democrat Beto O’Rourke has emerged as an unlikely contender in Texas against former Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz.
  • He has raised an incredible $38million between July and September mostly through small donors – which is the biggest quarterly haul of any Senate candidate ever.
  • While polls may indicate incumbent Cruz is ahead of his rival, according to The Hill, "credible" sources in Texas have warned against discounting O'Rourke and his growing movement.
  • "The energy on O’Rourke’s side, they say, is palpable. This all may be reminiscent of the grassroots energy that helped power Trump himself to victory in 2016," sources said.
  • The latest polls – taken just hours before voting gets underway – by RealClearPolitics show Republican Ted Cruz in a six point lead over Democrat Beto O'Rourke.
  • Cruz was first elected to his seat in 2012.
  • Since 1994, Texans have not elected a Democrat to a statewide office.

While it is likely that the Republicans will retain control of the Senate, there is a good chance Trump will lose his grip on the House of Representatives.

If this was to happen, a Democratic-controlled House could issue subpoenas and launch aggressive probes into the president’s administration.

Investigations into alleged collusion with Moscow, his business dealings and sexual assault allegations against the brash billionaire could all be sparked depending on the result of the midterms.

Dust-up in Florida

  • Another key battleground is Florida’s 26th district where the Democrats will be looking to wrestle back another House seat from their rivals.
  • The largely Hispanic community previously elected Republican Carlos Curbelo.
  • However, the popular Miami-born politician, the son of Cuban exiles, is being challenged by Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
  • Powell, who could not speak English when her family immigrated to the US from Ecuador, is being tipped to land a surprise victory.
  •  The district was won by Hillary Clinton by 16 points in the 2016 general election.


Democrats will likely demand to inspect Trump’s tax returns after the New Yorker refused to hand them over during the 2016 election process.

But if predicated Republicans hold onto the Senate, they will be able to approve Trump’s conservative judges nominees and appointments to his cabinet.

In the final stages of the campaign, Trump has ramped-up his hard-line rhetoric on immigration and cultural issues, including warnings about a caravan of migrants headed to the border with Mexico and of liberal "mobs."

The Labour Department on Friday reported sharply better-than-expected job creation in October, with the unemployment rate steady at a 49-year low of 3.7 per cent and wages notching their best annual gain in almost a decade.

But Obama said Republicans were taking credit for the economic renewal that started under his presidency.

He said: "You hear those Republicans brag about how good the economy is, where do you think that started?"


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