Saturday Politics: Pre-Election Anxiety

NPR.org | 11/3/2018 | Staff
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Americans head to the polls Tuesday, but more than 30 million people have voted already. President Trump's name isn't on a single ballot, but he still managed to make himself the preeminent issue for many voters who will decide control of the House and Senate. NPR's Ron Elving, senior editor and correspondent on the Washington Desk, joins us. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

RON - ELVING - BYLINE - Scott

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

SIMON: First, my friend, a bit of pre-analysis - what does the fact that 30 million early votes already been cast mean?

Midterm - Voter - Turnout - Drops - One-third

ELVING: You know, in a typical midterm, voter turnout drops by roughly one-third from the most recent presidential election. And this year, though, turnout may be much closer to a presidential level. And in part, as you say, that's about the president - not on the ballot anywhere but on voters' minds everywhere - not least because he has insisted on it. And it's hard to imagine this president having it any other way.

SIMON: President Trump's been campaigning very hard ahead of these elections. And despite having good - even great - economic numbers, he's been sounding a trumpet about immigration.

News - Economy - President - Border - Issues

ELVING: It's worth noting that given all that good news about the economy, the president has chosen to fixate on the border issues and a caravan from Honduras that he and his media allies call an invasion. He has sent several times as many troops to the border as there are people in the caravan. And that's even counting all the children and the elderly. And this week, he announced he would personally end birthright citizenship, which is in the Constitution. And he said he would do it by his own executive order.

SIMON: Ron, what do you believe are some of the effects of...
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