Concerned voters across the United States cast their ballots in the high-stakes 2022 midterm elections on Tuesday amid heightened partisanship and divide.
All 435 U.S. House of Representatives seats are up for grabs, as are 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate. Plus, 36 out of 50 states and three U.S. territories are electing governors. Numerous other state and local elections are also being contested.
The elections come as the United States struggles with inflation and high gas prices, as well as worries about an economic recession. Other top concerns for voters include abortion, crime, gun policy, and immigration, among other things.
A Republican voter living in Virginia who only identified him as George told Xinhua that he's concerned about the U.S. economy and criticized Democrats, saying that their agenda has negatively affected the country.
For Leinaala Zettlemoyer, a Democratic supporter from Pennsylvania, women's rights are the most important issue for her during the midterms. She also expressed concern about the divisions in American politics and society.
More than 70 percent of American voters think that the United States is headed in the wrong direction, according to the final national NBC News poll of the 2022 midterms released on Sunday.
The survey also found that a combined 81 percent say they are "very" or "somewhat" dissatisfied with the country's economy.
U.S. President Joe Biden, who's not on the ballot this year, posted a series of tweets on Tuesday, seeking to highlight what he considers the administration's achievements while warning of potential Republican efforts to repeal them.
Former President Donald Trump told reporters outside a polling location in Palm Beach, Florida, that he had voted for Governor Ron DeSantis, who's seeking a second term.
Trump, who has frequently hinted at running for the White House again in 2024, said on Monday that he would have a "very big announcement" coming Nov. 15 at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
"We want nothing to detract from the importance of tomorrow," he said at a rally in Ohio on behalf of Republican candidates. "You understand that."
According to data compiled by the United States Election Project, nearly 46 million ballots had been cast in early voting across the country.
"Overall, the United States and its voters are in a very sour mood," renowned American pollster John Zogby told reporters at a virtual briefing last month. "There will be different folks blaming different folks."
Currently, Democrats control both chambers of the U.S. Congress by narrow margins.
According to FiveThirtyEight, an American website that focuses on opinion poll analysis and politics, it is believed that Republicans will win the House this election cycle, while it's "a dead heat" for the Senate.
"There is still a considerable amount of uncertainty about the Senate," Sabato's Crystal Ball, an American online political newsletter and election handicapper, wrote in an analysis published on Monday. "Races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania can all accurately be described as jump balls."
The total cost of state and federal elections in this election cycle is projected to exceed 16.7 billion U.S. dollars, according to an analysis released by OpenSecrets, a nonprofit finance watchdog based in Washington, D.C.
"No other midterm election has seen as much money at the state and federal levels as the 2022 elections," said Sheila Krumholz, OpenSecrets' executive director. "We're seeing record-breaking totals spent on elections up and down the ballot."