WASHINGTON, DC – With the world mesmerized by the United States’ presidential race this year, the race for control of the US House of Representatives and the Senate has been largely overlooked. But the outcome of the congressional elections could make or break the next president’s agenda.
For all the power a president has, the 100-member Senate determines the fate of international treaties as well as the president’s nominations and legislative proposals. The 435-member House does not have as much power as the Senate, but control of the White House, the Senate, and the House by the same party could overcome much of the gridlock that has debilitated US governance in recent years.
The US does not have party-line elections, so voters can either punish a party (usually the one that has been in charge) by voting against all of its candidates; fully support a particular party; or split their tickets by voting for one party’s presidential candidate and another party’s congressional candidates.
Events have moved quickly since the Washington Post came upon an 11-year-old tape showing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump bragging about his sexual aggressiveness. Not only have the Democrats’ chances to retake the Senate improved; so, too, have their prospects for retaking the House.