The Americans will go to the polls on November 6 and cast their votes in the midterm elections that will determine which political party controls both houses of Congress and by what margin. The result will affect President Donald Trump's ability to enact his agenda in the second half of his four-year term.
The elections could have important consequences for the United States at home and abroad.
The continuation of the Republican majorities would ensure that Congress remains allied with the White House in many efforts, while Democratic majorities would try to control Trump at almost every moment. The divided control of Congress would make the two houses politically adverse and would probably cause a return to stagnation in the Capitol.
Republicans have had majorities in the House of Representatives since 2011 and in the Senate since 2015, and have had unified control of both elective branches of the federal government since January 2017. The Democrats had unified control in 2009 and 2010, the first two years of the Obama presidency.
In the 100-member Senate, Republicans hold 51 seats, including the vacant seat of the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, while the Democrats have 47. There are two independent senators who generally vote with the Democrats, giving the party 49 votes in the camera. The Democrats would need a net gain of at least two seats to take control of the Senate.
In the 435-member House of Representatives, Republicans currently have 236 members, compared to 193 Democrats. There are six vacancies that have not been filled by special elections before the partial exams. To win a majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats would need a net gain of approximately 24 seats, depending on how vacancies develop.
In November, voters will decide 35 seats in the Senate and all the House seats throughout the country, in addition to the non-voting members representing the United States territories. Historically, the opposition party wins to varying degrees in mid-term contests.
With Republicans clinging to a Senate majority with 51 to 49 seats, Democrats seem in a position to take control of the camera. This year, however, the numbers do not necessarily add up in their favor. Democrats are defending seats in 26 of the Senate's 35 contests; Republicans are defending only nine. As a result, Democrats would have to win four fifths of the Senate seats that are played across the country (28 seats) to get the majority.
The challenge becomes even more difficult for Democrats as they are defending seats in 10 states that Trump won in 2016, three of which are considered strongly inclined to Republicans. A Democratic loss in any of those states (Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan) could put a Senate majority out of reach.
In the House of Representatives, Republicans begin with a significant numerical advantage, but that could be erased if 2018 proves to be a "wave" election year that favors the Democrats.
In 2010, Republicans won more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives, the largest medium-term gain in recent decades, in what was considered a referendum on the efforts of then President Barack Obama to reform medical care in the United States. . This year, a gain of half that amount would give the Democrats control of the House.