(Phoenix) Millions of Americans participated Tuesday, in a climate of mistrust, in decisive elections for the presidency of Joe Biden and the ambitions of his rival Donald Trump to reconquer the White House in 2024.
“We need everyone on deck to elect Democrats,” Joe Biden tweeted at midday, calling on his camp to mobilize in the most contested states.
Handicapped by record inflation, the 79-year-old president risks losing control of Congress during these midterm elections traditionally unfavorable to the ruling party, and seeing his action paralyzed for the next two years.
His predecessor Donald Trump, who vigorously supported a large number of Republican candidates, is banking on their success to launch himself under the best possible auspices in the presidential race.
At his last rally, he promised to make “a very big announcement” on November 15. “It’s going to be a very exciting day for a lot of people,” he promised Tuesday as he exited a polling station in Florida.
In the meantime, “I think we’re going to have a really good night,” the 76-year-old billionaire added confidently.
Shortly after, however, he replayed the score that has been his since his defeat in 2020, stoking doubts about the regularity of voting operations. Noting that voting machines malfunctioned in a crowded Arizona precinct, he posted on his Truth Social platform: “Here we go again? People are not going to accept it”.
“Proxy voting in Detroit is not going well at all. People show up to vote and hear themselves answer: “sorry, you have already voted”, he still affirmed on his network.
Local authorities have acknowledged the problem, but assured that voters have other options to vote in this ballot which covers the entire House of Representatives, a third of the Senate, many local elected positions and many referendums .
But these snags have heightened concerns.
“I hope everyone will be civilized” and accept the verdict of the polls, confided Enrique Ayala, a 64-year-old retiree, crossed in McAllen, Texas.
During the campaign, “there was a lot of tension and misinformation”, regretted for his part Robin Ghirdar, a 61-year-old doctor who came to vote Democratic in an office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, deploring that “the search for truth and of compromise has disappeared in the battle. »
In fact, each camp dramatized the stakes of the election: the Democrats posed as defenders of democracy and the right to abortion against Republicans deemed “extremist”; the conservatives acted as guarantors of order in the face of a so-called “lax and radical” left in matters of security and immigration.
” A good family’s father ”
Inflation – more than 8.2% over one year – however crushed all other subjects.
“It handicaps Americans who are trying to get by,” said Kenneth Bellows, a 32-year-old law student who voted Republican in Phoenix, Arizona (southwest), calling for policies “from good father to family “.
Until the end, Joe Biden sought to defend his economic record, presenting himself as “the president of the middle class” who canceled student debt and invested in infrastructure. But his efforts do not seem to have borne fruit.
According to opinion polls, the Republican opposition should take at least 10 to 25 seats in the lower house – more than enough to be in the majority there. Pollsters are more mixed about the fate of the Senate, with nevertheless an advantage for the Republicans.
Deprived of his majority, the president would above all have veto power, and the Republicans have made it known that they will not spare it. In particular, they plan to launch investigations in the House into the affairs of his son Hunter and some of his ministers.
Concretely, the midterm elections are being played out in a handful of key states – the same ones that were already at the heart of the 2020 presidential election.
All the spotlights are thus on Pennsylvania, a former bastion of the steel industry, where the Republican multimillionaire surgeon Mehmet Oz, dubbed by Donald Trump, faces the Democratic colossus John Fetterman for the most disputed post in the Senate.
Georgia is another object of desire. Democrat Raphael Warnock, the first black senator ever elected in this southern state with a heavy segregationist past, is trying to be re-elected against Herschel Walker, a former African-American sportsman, also supported by the former president.
Arizona, Ohio, Nevada, Wisconsin and North Carolina are also the scene of intense struggles, where Democrats everywhere are opposed to candidates supported by Donald Trump, who swear absolute loyalty to the former president.
These breathless duels were all fueled by hundreds of millions of dollars, making this election the most expensive midterm elections in US history.
The first results are expected from 7 p.m., but the outcome of the tightest duels could take several days.