Democrats and Republicans make last-minute pitches on polls’ eve

Coast to coast, candidates and big-name backers have made their final appeals to voters in the last hours of campaigning for the midterm elections in the United States, with Republicans excited about the prospect of winning back Congress and President Joe Biden insisting his party could spring a surprise.

Democrats argue victories for the Republicans could profoundly and adversely reshape the country, eliminating abortion rights nationwide and unleashing broad threats to the very future of democracy in the US. Republicans say the public is tired of Biden’s policies amid rising prices and concerns about crime.

“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 in Maryland, where Democrats have one of their best opportunities to reclaim a Republican-held governor’s seat. “I want you to know, we’ll meet this moment.”

Arriving back at the White House a short time later, Biden was more frank, saying: “I think we’ll win the Senate. I think the House is tougher.” Asked what the reality of governing will be like, he responded, “More difficult.”

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