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Concerned voters go to polls in divided US midterm elections

David Walchesky (left), judge of elections, and Evelyn Cain, majority inspector, prepare the ballot scanner at a polling place inside a private resident’s garage for the US midterm election in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Nov 8, 2022.
(REBECCA DROKE / AFP)

WASHINGTON – Concerned voters across the United States are going to the polls to cast their ballots in the 2022 midterm elections on Tuesday amid heightened partisanship and divide.

All 435 US 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 US territories are electing governors. Numerous other state and local elections are also being contested.

All 435 US 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 US territories are electing governors. Numerous other state and local elections are also being contested

The high-stakes 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.

According to data compiled by the United States Election Project, more than 44 million ballots had been cast in early voting across the country as of early Tuesday morning.

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A Republican voter living in Virginia who identified himself only as George told Xinhua that he is concerned about the US economy and criticized Democrats, saying that their agenda has negatively affected the country.

Leinaala Zettlemoyer, a Democratic supporter from Pennsylvania, said that women's rights are the most important issue for her during the midterms while expressing concern about the divisions in American politics and society.

Only 44 percent of voters approve of US President Joe Biden's job performance, while 53 percent disapprove, according to the final national NBC News poll of the 2022 midterms released on Sunday.

More than 70 percent, the survey also found, think that the United States is headed in the wrong direction; and a combined 81 percent say they are "very" or "somewhat" dissatisfied with the country's economy.

READ MORE: Hit to livelihoods tops concerns for voters in US

"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."

Voters walk into a polling place at SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center, in Uvalde, Texas, on Nov 8, 2022. (MARK FELIX / AFP)

Currently, Democrats control both chambers of the US 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, according to an analysis released by OpenSecrets, a nonprofit finance watchdog based in Washington, DC.

"No other midterm election has seen as much money at the state and federal levels as the 2022 elections," Sheila Krumholz, OpenSecrets' executive director, said. "We're seeing record-breaking totals spent on elections up and down the ballot."