Tuesday’s outcome could derail the final two years of Joe Biden’s presidency, shaping policy on everything from government spending, gender reassignment for children, biological boys competing in girl’s sports, crime, and Fentanyl pouring across the southern border.
Across Kansas and Missouri, lines in some places were already long when polls opened this morning.
In Kansas, Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly faces backlash from voters over school lockdowns, allowing males to compete in female sports and problems in the state foster care program. She faces Republican Derek Schmidt, the state’s Attorney General. She and other Kansas democrats have attempted to tie Schmidt and other Republicans to former Gov. Sam Brownback. Their primary argument is that Brownback reduced funding for schools. But Metro Voice has pointed out that talking point is not true. Spending on education went up each year under Brownback and was only reduced by his Democrat predecessor.
Missouri sees a slew of ballot measures on the ballot, including one that would legalize pot for recreational use. Opponents have pointed to data from Colorado and other states showing a sharp rise in vehicular deaths, homelessness and other outcomes they say are now costing Colorado hundreds of millions of dollars to remedy.
In the Kansas City region, all eyes are on the 5th Congressional district where 18-year incumbent ultra-liberal Democrat Emanuel Cleaver may lose in a sleeper race against Republican Jacob Turk, a conservative Marine vet, and mechanical engineer.
Cleaver, who has a 100% voting record supporting Biden administration policies, has substantial baggage, including defrauding the Small Business Administration of millions of dollars in loans for a failed car wash scheme.
According to Turk, unofficial polling indicates he is in the margin of error. If national polls, which show Blacks and Hispanics turning to Republicans this year over crime and the economy, translate to the 5th District, a Turk win would be the big surprise for the night in this traditionally Democrat district.
While most analysts say that the House will flip to the Republican Party, the Senate picture is less definitive. The GOP is defending 21 out of 35 seats.
Control of the Senate is coming down to a handful of swing states. They include Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. But polling on Monday found that Democrats are also vulnerable in previously deep blue districts in Colorado and Washington State.
Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter has roiled the social media world, used that platform Monday to endorse the GOP, writing, “I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic.”
That came too late for some 42 million people who have voted already, including in Missouri and Kansas, according to the U.S. Election Project. The organization is operated by the University of Florida and monitors election data from about 45 states.
Republican candidates and strategists predict voters will largely rebuke Democrats amid 40-year high record inflation, concerns about crime, and pessimism about the direction of the country. History suggests any party in power will suffer losses during the midterms. In only two elections in the past 80 years has the party in power not lost seats.
Democrats and President Joe Biden have chosen to focus on abortion access following the Supreme Court’s historic reversal of Roe v. Wade over the summer. They’ve also opted to denigrate Republicans and former President Donald Trump as threats to U.S. institutions while proclaiming that a vote for a Democrat candidate will “save democracy” in the midst of FBI raids targeting conservatives.
“If we don’t win, they’re going to wipe out everything we’ve done,” Biden told MSNBC host Al Sharpton on Monday. “America should feel safe going to the polls,” he said, mentioning the small number of reports of people holding rifles near polling stations.
Democrat Jim Clyburn compared Republicans to Nazis and stated that if Republicans win, it would be the end of the world.
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss was mocked after he said if Republican voters flip Congress, the GOP will arrest children and people could be “conceivably killed.”
His comments were mocked on social media.
For their part, Republicans are heading to the polls with an air of optimism.
One voter in Lee’s Summit, Mo. told Metro Voice their goal is “to see the madness of the last two years end.”
They exited the building with a small “I Voted” sticker and a big smile.
–Dwight Widaman and wire services.