Biden warns on risk to democracy, Trump hints at another run on eve of midterms

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Biden midterm elections

In a stark closing argument ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, President Joe Biden on Monday warned that a Republican victory could weaken the country’s democratic institutions, while former President Donald Trump hinted he could announce another White House bid as soon as next week.

Biden’s comments reflected the deep political divide in the United States ahead of Nov. 8 elections that could see Republicans win control of one or both chambers of Congress.

“Today we face an inflection point. We know in our bones that our democracy’s at risk and we know that this is your moment to defend it,” Biden told a cheering crowd at Bowie State University, a historically Black college outside Washington.

Non-partisan election forecasters predict that Republicans are likely to pick up roughly 25 seats in the 435-seat House of Representatives, more than enough to win a majority. Analysts said Republicans also could pick up the one seat they need to win control of the Senate.

Republicans have blamed Biden’s administration for rising prices and crime, two top voter concerns. But dozens of candidates also have echoed Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in his 2020 election defeat. Some of them could end up as governors or election administrators in battleground states and play a central role in the 2024 presidential race.

Trump has repeatedly hinted that he may run for president again. At a rally to boost Republican candidates in Ohio, Trump said he would make an announcement a week after the election at his Florida estate.

“I’m going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida,” he said.

Read more: Biden, Trump, Obama barnstorm Pennsylvania in final midterms dash

Despite delivering on campaign promises to boost infrastructure and clean energy, many Americans have soured on Biden’s leadership. Only 39% approve of his job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Monday.

Biden’s unpopularity has made him an unwelcome guest in the most competitive races. On Monday, he spoke in reliably Democratic Maryland, where the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Wes Moore, is widely expected to win back the Republican-held governorship.

If Republicans win the House or the Senate, that would spell the end of Biden’s efforts to get abortion protections and other Democratic priorities through Congress. It also would open the door to Republican-led investigations that could potentially damage the White House. A Republican-led Senate could also block Biden’s nominations for judicial or administrative posts.

Billionaire Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter and vows to loosen the reins on who can say what on the platform has led to some speculation that it could unleash a wave of disinformation, tweeted on Monday that “independent-minded voters” should vote for a Republican Congress.

If Republicans secure a House majority, they plan to use the federal debt ceiling as leverage to demand deep spending cuts. They would also seek to make Trump’s 2017 individual tax cuts permanent and protect corporate tax cuts that Democrats have unsuccessfully tried to reverse over the past two years.

Control of Capitol Hill would give Republicans the power to block aid to Ukraine, but they are more likely to slow or pare back the flow of weapons and economic assistance to Kyiv than stop it.


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