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High voter enthusiasm for US midterm polls

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

It was early Tuesday morning. Lisa, a was standing in a small but rising outside public library in a suburb of

After a 20-minute wait, she exercised her right to vote in the US mid-term elections.

Normally, in her early 50 does not care to vote in a mid-term election. But not this time, she said after voting. "It's important to vote. It's important," she said as she pointed out towards the great enthusiasm outside this polling booth in Bethesda,

In previous mid-terms, not many Americans voted, and the polling percentage was quite low, as compared to the every four years. People can just walk inside a polling booth and come out of it just a few minutes after completing the entire process.

But not this time, reports coming out from across the country said. "Last two years have shown that every vote matters," said. "I had not seen this kind of enthusiasm," she told

In Washington DC, in some neighbourhoods, the waiting period was two hours.

"There is a lot of this time," said Surinder Sharma, after casting his vote in of

Both and are considered to be Democrat states, but in 2016 quite a large number of voters there voted for Like Lisa, Indian American Sharma too experienced a longer than usual for a mid-term poll.

In fact, more than 20 million Americans had already voted, taking advantage of the early voting provision for the mid-term elections on November 6.

In addition to the unprecedented enthusiasm among Americans to exercise their right to vote, in these highly polarised elections, is greater emphasis among leaders of the both political parties Democratic and Republican asking their supporters to go out and vote.

Much is at stake these mid-terms. The opposition has sensed a chance to gain majority in the after several years. In a 435-member House, Republicans occupy 235 seats and Democrats have 193. Political pundits say Democrats are heading towards snatching the House from the Republicans.

In the 100-member Senate, Republicans have 51 seats and the Democrats have 49. Elections are being held for 35 seats. Political pundits say, Republicans are all set to increase their tally.

Trump, who campaigned till almost midnight on Monday, hopes that his party would be able to retain majority in both the chambers of the US Congress. For his administration agenda, it is very important for him, as he believes the Democrats have been "obstructionist" to his policies.

This is the reason probably why, Trump like previous presidents had an aggressive campaign this mid-term and addressed nearly 50 rallies crisscrossing the country. Asking his supporters to go out and vote, Trump even told them that he himself is on the ballot.

He is right, given the tone of the elections this time. If either in newspapers, or on TV or are to be believed, Americans are going out to vote as either they do not like Trump or they support him.

In fact, 'Go out and Vote', popularly known as seems to be the only common denominator in this highly polarised election, wherein immigration, racism, and economic development are among the top issues.

Hillary Clinton, the former presidential candidate, who was the first to pioneer was on since early in the morning asking people to go out and vote. Obviously, her message was to vote against Republicans.

"For the past two years, we've watched this administration attack and undermine our democratic institutions and values. Today, we say enough," Clinton said.

say she is eyeing a third-run at the A severe Republican drubbing might help her take a favourable decision in the coming months.

So does former vice Joe Biden, who voted Tuesday morning in

"Let's exercise our birthright as Americans today, put those people in office, and continue the hard work of saving our democracy," Clinton said.

Taking a day off campaigning, Trump since early morning was retweeting his previous posts and tweeting a few new ones.

Election results would start coming in late on Tuesday evening here (early Wednesday in India).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 23:40 IST