The United States goes to the polls on Tuesday, Biden and Trump play out their political futures
Americans are called to the polls Tuesday in midterm elections crucial to the political futures of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, who is ostensibly flirting with a 2024 presidential bid.
Across the country, polls will open at six or seven o'clock in the morning depending on the state, on this first Tuesday following the first Monday of November, according to the tradition for national elections in the USA.
The entire House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate and a host of local elected positions are at stake. Referendums on abortion rights are also being held in four states: California, Vermont, Kentucky and Michigan.
After a hard-fought campaign focused on inflation, Republicans are growing increasingly confident in their chances of stripping Joe Biden of his congressional majorities.
If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, you have to vote Republican tomorrow," pleaded former President Donald Trump, omnipresent in this campaign, during a final meeting Monday night in Ohio, one of the country's industrial bastions.
Surrounded by the tide of red caps that he loves, the 76-year-old billionaire announced that he would make "a very big announcement on Tuesday, November 15at Mar-a-Lago", his residence in Florida, well aware that a victory of his lieutenants in the polls on Tuesday could offer him the ideal springboard for a presidential candidacy in 2024.
Held two years after the 2020 presidential election, these midterm elections are also a referendum on the occupant of the White House. The president's party rarely escapes the sanction vote.
To the end, Biden's camp sought to win votes from the left and center by portraying the Republican opposition as a threat to democracy and societal gains such as abortion rights.
"We know viscerally that our democracy is in danger," the 79-year-old president pleaded at a final rally Monday night in Maryland, just outside Washington.
But rising prices - 8.2 per cent on average over the past year - remain by far the biggest concern for Americans, and Joe Biden's efforts to pose as a "middle-class president" do not seem to have borne fruit.
According to the most recent opinion polls, the Republican opposition has a good chance of taking at least 10 to 25 seats in the lower house - more than enough for a majority. Pollsters are more mixed on the fate of the Senate, but Republicans appear to have the edge there as well.
The loss of control of both houses of Congress would be fraught with consequences for the Democrat, who has so far said he "intends" to run again in 2024, foreshadowing a possible rematch of the 2020 duel.
On Monday night, the president said he was "optimistic" about the outcome. He conceded, however, that keeping control of the House would be "difficult.
A sign of the interest of Americans in this election: more than 43 million Americans had already voted by Monday evening in the elections, either in advance or by mail.
The results of some of the closest contests, however, could take days to be announced.