US midterm results and maps 2018: What time will we know today’s US midterm election outcome?

President Trump election rally

Today’s midterm elections will mark two years since Donald Trump was elected President, and its results will be a barometer of how the people of the US think he is faring. In recent weeks birthright citizenship, the migrant caravan and the mail bomber have overshadowed debates and may spell trouble for the Republican party.

The midterm elections, which involve a combination of elections for the US Congress, governorships and local races, take place every two years.

Republicans currently control the House of Representatives and the Senate – the two chambers which make up the US Congress. But pundits are suggesting the Democrats might take control.

With all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 out of the Senate’s 100 seats up for election, as well as 36 state governors, there are a lot of races to keep an eye on.

And with Trump’s approval rating hovering around 40 per cent, a lot could change. Here is our guide on the seats to watch – and when we can expect to see results from them.

When does voting start and end?

People will take to the polls across the 50 states from 1pm GMT today, with polls closing from midnight GMT onwards. Below are the last polling times for each state.

  • 19:00 EST (midnight GMT): Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
  • 19:30 EST (00:30 GMT): North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia
  • 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT): Alabama, Conneticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massacheutts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee
  • 20:30 EST (01:30 GMT): Arkansas
  • 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT): Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • 22:00 EST (03:00 GMT): Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Utah
  • 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT): California, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington
  • 01:00 EST (06:00 GMT): Alaska

When will we know the results?

The votes will start to be counted as soon as the each polling station closes, which means results will trickle in over the early hours of the morning. We can expect a clear picture on what the elections mean for the country by 8am tomorrow (Wednesday 7th November) GMT.

Which are the seats to watch for the House of Representatives?

The number of seats each US state receives depends on its population size. California, the most populous state, has 53 representatives while seven states – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming have just one representative.

The Republican Party currently controls the chamber with a 43-seat majority, but it is widely expected that the Democrats will gain control in the upcoming election. The current House has 236 Republicans and 193 Democrats, with six vacant seats.

The Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to win a majority, which is no small accomplishment, but the president’s low approval ratings have given the party reason to hope.

West Virginia

Donald Trump won West Virginia’s 3rd district by 30 points. But it is the Democratic candidate running in the district, which has a long history of coal mining, that is gaining national attention. Richard Ojeda says he voted for Donald Trump in 2016, opposes universal background checks for gun buyers, and is pro-coal.

Mr Ojeda is running against Republican Carol Miller in the open-seat race after the incumbent Republican Evan Jenkins vacated the seat to run for the Senate.

Polling suggests it will be a tight race between the two candidates, but analysts are keeping a close watch to see if a populist Democrat in a pro-Trump area is a winning formula.

Last polls for West Virginia close at 19:30 EST (00:30 GMT).

California

Republican Representative Mimi Walters is battling to keep hold of her seat against Democrat Katie Porter in the state’s 45th district, Orange County. The number of registered Republicans in the county has consistently declined as its population becomes more diverse.

Ms Walters is one of seven Republicans representing districts in California which Hillary Clinton won in 2016. The Democrats need to take several of these in order to have a chance of regaining a majority in the House.

Pundits are viewing a win in this race as a sign they will do well across Southern California – picking up crucial Republican-held seats. Professor Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics has changed his prediction from ‘leaning Republican’ to a ‘toss-up’.

Last polls for California close at 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT).

Minnesota

Minnesota’s 8th district is considered one of the Democrats’ most at-risk seats in November. It is a traditionally Democrat area – former president Barack Obama won the district twice but it swung heavily to Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

The seat is currently held by Democrat Rick Nolan but the 74-year-old is not seeking re-election. The party’s candidate Joe Radinovich, a former state legislator, is facing a tough battle against Republican Pete Stauber, a county commissioner.

Last polls for Minnesota close at 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT).

Texas

The race in Texas’ 23rd district will largely focus on one of the Trump administration’s main concerns – immigration. The district contains a third of the US-Mexico border and has the second highest population of ‘Dreamers’ – the term given to undocumented migrants who arrived in America as children and have been granted temporary protection.

The incumbent, Republican Will Hurd, is a former CIA agent who has chosen to distance himself from Mr Trump. His Democratic rival, Gina Ortiz Jones, is a Filipina-American, openly LGBTQ and an Iraq veteran.

Mr Hurd, who became the first African-American elected to Congress from Texas when he was elected in 2015, is tipped to win by a narrow margin in the swing district.

He has distanced himself from the national Republican party and even wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in July stating that the president had been manipulated by Russian intelligence.

Last polls for Texas close at 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT).

Florida

Moderate Republicans will be looking to Florida’s 26th district to see whether they can keep hold of a largely Hispanic area in the Trump era.

The incumbent, Carlos Curbelo, is well-liked but Republicans still fear his Democrat opponent, Latin immigrant Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, could sweep to a surprise victory. Hillary Clinton won the district by 16 points in 2015.

Last polls for Florida close at 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

What about the Senate?

The US Senate is the upper chamber on Capitol Hill. There are 100 Senators, two from each state, and Republicans currently hold a razor thin majority with 51 seats.

The US Senate writes and passes laws but has a number of other powers and responsibilities, from ratifying treaties with other countries to overseeing investigations of officials and public bodies.

Senators have six-year terms and just 35 seats are up for re-election. Most of these are currently held by Democrats, making it hard for them to make gains.

Nevada

Senator Dean Heller’s election fight is an interesting one to watch. He is the only Republican senator up for re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Senator Heller’s Democratic opponent, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, has also support from anti-Trump female voters. She is also hoping Nevada’s growing Hispanic population will help her to victory in November.

However she faces an uphill battle in encouraging voter turnout, and Republicans are relying on white rural voters to come out to support Mr Heller.

Last polls for Nevada close at 22:00 EST (03:00 GMT).

North Dakota

Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is facing re-election in a state Mr Trump won by nearly 40 points in 2016, is considered the most endangered Democrat in the Senate.

Ms Heitkamp will face pressure from conservative voters if she votes against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, as she has suggested she will. However Ms Heitkamp has touted her previous support for Mr Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, last year.

Her opponent, Kevin Crammer, also has the backing of the president. Mr Trump headlined a fundraiser for the Republican in early September which brought in more than $1 million in donations to his campaign.

Last polls for North Dakota close at 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT).

Florida

The race between Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger Rick Scott is one of the most expensive of the year. Mr Scott, Florida’s governor, has challenged Mr Nelson’s record in Washington and distanced himself from the president so as not to lose out on Puerto Rican voters.

Republicans see the seat as one of their most promising chances of picking up an extra Senate seat and have spent heavily in the race. Polls show the two almost neck and neck – an interesting race to tune into on election night.

Last polls for Florida close at 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

Texas

Despite being a presidential candidate in 2016, Republican Senator Ted Cruz is now fighting for his political life in Texas. His Democratic challenger  – Bete O’Rourke – has brought Mr Cruz’s lead in the deeply red state down to single digits, shocking political pundits.

Mr Trump has overcome his previous animosity with the Senator to lend his support to his campaign. Donald Jnr has already been deployed to campaign for Mr Cruz and the president himself may make an appearance in a bid to bolster support.

Mr O’Rourke, a 45-year-old congressman, has campaigned on a platform of inclusion and optimism, particularly on issues such as immigration. It is a message that chimes with the state’s growing Hispanic population, which currently stands at 39 per cent.

Pollsters still predict a Cruz victory but Mr O’Rourke’s popularity and upbeat campaign rallies have left Republican operatives deeply troubled.

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Very powerful laser ‘porch light’ could let aliens and other living beings know where Earth located

An MIT researcher claims a laser space beacon detectable up to 20,000 light years away is feasible — essentially acting as a porch light for extraterrestrial life. James Clark’s study posits that focusing a one- to two-megawatt laser through a 30- to 45-meter telescope and aiming it into space would create a beacon that would emit enough radiation to be distinctive from the sun’s infrared energy.

If there are alien astronomers in a neighboring solar system (say, on the exoplanets orbiting Trappist-1, a star that’s 40 light years or so away), they might spot the signal from our little corner of the galaxy. The study suggests that we could even send a Morse code-style message with the laser by using pulses.

The tech scientists would need to build such a beacon is within practical reach. There’s a 39-meter telescope under construction in Chile, for instance, while the scrapped US Air Force YAL-1 Airborne Laser (which could destroy missiles mid-flight) had the equivalent power to the laser that Clark says would be required.

There are more practical concerns, such as the laser potentially damaging your eyes if you looked directly towards it — even though the beam would be invisible to the naked eye. The laser could also affect cameras on spacecraft that passed through it. As such, Clark suggested that installing the laser system on the far side of the moon would be the safest bet, even if it’s a vastly more impractical one.

But what of the flip side to the equation? Could we spot a similar beacon from another planet with our current technology? Well, yes, but it would require a powerful enough telescope (i.e. one meter or larger) directed at the exact source location. So, it’s unlikely as things stand. However, imaging tools used to study gases on exoplanets could detect our neighbors’ porch lights too, so there’s a slim chance we might be able to invite them over for coffee after all. Assuming they don’t annihilate us first, that is.

Trump and Obama trade blows as midterm elections loom

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As the final countdown begins to Tuesday’s midterm elections, the contest is turning into a tale of two presidents. The current occupant of the White House is fighting to retain control over Congress. He is also locked in mortal combat with his immediate predecessor, who is battling to hold on to his legacy.

Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, and Barack Obama, the 44th, both took to the stump on Sunday. Their first rallies of the day were separated by 750 miles of interstate highway, but in content and vision they were lightyears apart.

Trump, addressing a crowd in Macon, Georgia, set out his now familiar dystopia of an America overrun with criminal aliens and radical socialists. He unleashed his firepower on Stacey Abrams, the Democrat seeking to become the first black woman governor of any state in the union.

“You put Stacey in there and you are going to get Georgia turn into Venezuela,” Trump said. “Stacey Abrams wants to turn your wonderful state into a giant sanctuary city for criminal aliens, putting innocent Georgia families at the mercy of hardened criminals and predators.”

Obama was in Gary, Indiana. He implied that the existential threat came from his successor himself. Though he did not mention Trump by name, he laid out a picture of today’s politics that was in its own way equally dystopian, led by a man who had no qualms about lying or about playing to people’s fears.

“What kind of politics do we want,” he asked Democrats in a state where Senator Joe Donnelly is struggling to be re-elected. “What we have not seen at least in my memory is where, right now, you’ve got politicians blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying. Just making up stuff.”

As Obama spoke, his voice hoarse, he banged the podium with the passion of a politician who has seen his legacy unpicked in record time. From his signature Affordable Care Act – dubbed by Democrats with affection and Republicans with equal disdain as “Obamacare” – to his actions on climate change, immigration reform, income redistribution and the composition of the US supreme court, his achievements have been brutally assailed.

Obama ridiculed Trump’s focus in the final days of the campaign on the caravan of Central American asylum seekers making their perilous way to the US border. “Two weeks before the election they are telling us that the single greatest threat to America is a bunch of poor, impoverished, broken, hungry refugees 1,000 miles away.”

But he warned: “Sometimes these tactics of scaring people and making stuff up work.”

He painted the stakes at Tuesday’s election as no less than the future of democracy itself. “There have got to be consequences when people don’t tell the truth. When words stop meaning anything, when people can just lie with abandon, democracy can’t work. Nothing works… Society doesn’t work unless there are consequences.”

Despite their conflicting approaches, Trump and Obama shared one message: that the normally lacklustre and low-turnout midterms could not be more significant this time. As Obama put it: “America is at a crossroads. The character of our country is on the ballot.”

Here’s how Trump put the same idea: “This election will decide on whether we build on the extraordinary prospective we have created or whether we let the radical Democrats take a wrecking ball to our future.”

It seems their message is working, if the response of the electorate is an indication. Some 33 million votes have already been counted in early voting, vastly more than at this stage four years ago. Turnout is on track to be the largest in a midterm election for more than 50 years.

When polling stations open on America’s eastern seaboard at 6am on Tuesday, both main parties have much to win and lose. With all 435 seats of the House of Representatives up for grabs, the Democrats look well-placed to gain the 23 they need to take back control and put a spoke in the wheel of Trump’s ambitions.

A much tougher challenge faces the party in the Senate, where 26 Democratic seats are in play compared with only nine Republican.

The intensity of the fight,on display at the presidents’ dueling rallies, was reflected too on the Sunday political talk shows, which were dominated by disputes over race-baiting. Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told CNN’s State of the Union: “What you see in the closing argument is dog-whistle politics, appeals to racists, just the worst of America.”

The show’s host, Jake Tapper, engaged in a feisty to-and-fro with Perez’s Republican counterpart, Ronna McDaniel. He put to her a racially provocative attack ad made for the Trump campaign and shared on social media by the president last week, which accused Democrats of allowing into the US an undocumented migrant who murdered two police officers in California. In fact, Luis Bracamontes most recently entered the US during the administration of George W Bush, a Republican. The advert was widely condemned.

Tapper asked the RNC chair if she had any concerns about the flagrant inaccuracy of the ad as well as its blatant racist tone. She avoided replying directly, saying: “Regardless. We didn’t want [Bracamontes] in the country. He killed police. That’s not good.”

“Is that the Democrats’ fault?” Tapper pressed.

“It’s a systemic failure.”

When Tapper said that suggested both main parties were responsible, not just the Democrats, McDaniel replied: “Who’s the party saying, ‘Let’s fix it’? Who’s the party fixing all the problems?”

With so much riding on Tuesday night, Trump and Republican leadership have resorted to increasingly extreme language. A return to Democratic control of the House would allow liberals to block much of the president’s agenda, as well as to investigate him aggressively in committees wielding subpoena power.

In addition, 36 state governors are up for re-election and the Democrats hope to win back hundreds of seats in state legislatures.

Despite economic indicators that put unemployment at 3.7%, its lowest level in 49 years, and wage growth at its best since 2009, Trump has taken a big gamble in prioritizing his anti-immigration policies rather than a booming economy. On Friday at a rally in West Virginia, he said: “We have the greatest economy in the history of our country. But sometimes it’s not as exciting to talk about the economy.”

The president has promised in lurid terms anti-immigrant measures, from sending troops to the border with Mexico to making it harder to claim asylum and putting an end to so-called “birthright citizenship”, whereby anyone born in the US is automatically American. His incendiary talk has been matched by others in his administration.

On Saturday, agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue spoke in Lakeland, Florida. He was trying to buoy up the chances of Ron DeSantis becoming governor instead of an African American Democrat, Andrew Gillum. Even had the neck-and-neck race not involved a black candidate, Perdue’s words would have been explosive.

“Public policy matters,” he said. “Leadership matters. And that is why this election is so cotton-pickin’ important to the state of Florida. I hope you all don’t mess it up.”

Florida joined the US in 1845 as a slave state, with half its enslaved black population working on cotton and sugar plantations.

Barack Obama and Stacey Abrams wave to the crowd during a campaign rally at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
 Barack Obama and Stacey Abrams wave to the crowd during a campaign rally at Morehouse College in Atlanta. 

Race is also a big issue in Georgia. Abrams’ opponent, Brian Kemp, is in charge of overseeing elections as secretary of state. In that role he has been accused of attempting to prevent thousands of largely African American residents from voting.

Abrams was asked by CNN on Sunday what she thought about Perdue’s “cotton-pickin” comment. She said: “I think there is certainly a throwback element to the language coming out of the Republican party that is unfortunately disparaging to communities. It may be unintentional, but it signals a deeper misinformation about what Andrew Gillum can accomplish, what I can accomplish.”

As Trump set out from the White House for Georgia, he told reporters his recent spate of rallies, in which he has set out his dystopian view of a nation under siege from “invading” immigrants, had sparked a fire under the conservative base.

“There’s something very interesting that’s happening the level of fervor, the level of fever is very strong on the Republican side,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy out there. I think that the rallies have been the things that have caused this fervor to start. I have never seen such an enthusiastic Republican party.”

Polls continue to indicate that Democrats have a significant lead, though after the embarrassment to pollsters of 2016 any such figures must be handled with extreme caution. The last poll from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News showed the Democrats up by seven points in terms of who respondents wanted to control Congress.

Trump’s low approval rating – CNN puts it at 44% – continues to be a challenge. In 2010 Barack Obama had a rating of 46%. He lost 63 House seats.

Stock Trading Guide

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The stock market is basically just one giant auction, similar to any other auction, except it is incredibly efficient and involves millions of buyers and sellers and instead of toys, video games, furniture, etc. you are trading small ownership in a company (equities, stocks) and debt owed by those companies. Furthermore, you can buy currencies, options to buy/sell a company at an agreed upon price (options), trade exchange rates, etc.

So let’s start out with how this auction works.

You are a buyer of a stock. You want to buy one share of Apple. If you buy that one share at $173.90 (current day’s price), then you own 1/861.74million of that company.

So, to do this, you would first need to open a brokerage account. If you live in the US, Robinhood is a very popular trading platform. Others include Questrade, Qtrade, TD Ameritrade, etc. etc. there are many options and they differ based on how much quality information they provide you on your trades, the commissions on the trades, the customer service provided, etc.

So let’s get rolling. You open your brokerage account and you buy 1 share of APPL. The bid price is the price that is currently dictated that people are buying it at. The ask price is what the sellers want to get for it. A very liquid stock (lots of trades) would have a very low bid-ask spread.

So let’s discuss some of the mechanics of how the stock market works. The stock market follows a random walk (that is, it randomly walks forward and backwards and changes every day based on new information that comes available about a stock) and this generally follows a trend. A good point to start at to understand how this all works is to read “Random Walk Through Wall Street”.

To get into more details of this, you should start to understand how the market works. The market will go through stages: prosperity, peak, recession, possibly depression, and eventually back to prosperity. GDP growth, unemployment numbers, consumer confidence, etc. all help to tell us where we are in the business cycle but no one can be entirely sure how close we are to the next recession (we are currently in the longest bull market since The Great Depression). Another more in-depth book to consider reading is “The Intelligent Investor”.

Once you start to understand how this all works, you should figure out how to trade on it. Say unemployment numbers go down, how do you react? If the government deficit increases, how do you react? If the Fed announces that they will slowly raise interest rates, how do you react? You can read about this in “When it rains in Brazil, Buy Starbucks” and you can find an economic calendar:

So that is a great starting point for learning about trading stocks. As mentioned in other comments, you can also learn a lot from simulators and from reading investopedia articles and definitions etc.

Some common ones: Beta is the correlation of a stock to the overall stock market Price/Earnings ratio: This is the ratio of how much the price of a stock is reflective to their net earnings available to shareholders. A growth stock has a high P/E ratio.

There are two different prices, yes.

Just imagine you are negotiating to buy a bike with a guy off Craigslist. You offer $80. That’s your bid price. He says, no, that’s a ripoff. I want $120. So you’re both too far apart and can’t come to an agreement.

Then there’s a second seller of the same identical bike and he wants $110. Then there are 10 more identical bikes all selling for $110. The other guy just realize he can’t get $120 so he drops his asking price to $110. In fact, he goes down to $105 to sell immediately.

Now there’s a bunch more buyers. They’re willing to pay $100. So you can’t offer $80 any more because everyone else is offering $100. So you decide to raise your bid price to $100. In fact, you really want it, so you raise your bid price to $105. Bam. Now the bid-ask spread is zero and it sells at $105.

For thinly traded stocks though (few buyers and sellers), the seller may be asking too much money and the buyer is offering too little. In that case, there are two prices, and you may not come into agreement (we call this illiquid). Eventually with a stock that has thousands or millions of buyers and sellers, these two prices eventually converge into one – just like in the example I provided.

You can click link to register and start trading to earn.

http://partners.etoro.com/A76268_TClick.aspx

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President Trump’s approval rating holds steady at 45 percent ahead of midterms

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Forty-five percent of Americans said they approve of President Trump‘s job in office less than one week out from the midterm elections, according to a new American Barometer survey.

The poll, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 24 percent of voters said they “strongly approved” of the president, while 21 percent said they “somewhat approved.”

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they disapproved of Trump, with 42 percent saying they “strongly disapproved” and 12 percent saying they “somewhat disapproved.”

The last American Barometer poll on Trump’s approval rating, conducted earlier this month, showed the president’s approval rating at 46 percent and his disapproval rating at 54 percent.

The survey comes less than one week before the midterm elections.

The Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot Wednesday showed Democrats leading Republicans by 7.5 points.

Political analyst Ruy Teixeira told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha that Republicans and Democrats will likely interpret the midterm results differently, with Democrats calling it an election about Trump.

“The Democrats will obviously more say it’s a referendum on Trump, and this indicates a rejection of the kind of politics he stands for,”  Teixeira said on “What America’s Thinking.”

“The Republicans will say this is just normal, off-year changes. It’s not at all a referendum on Trump. A lot of people still love him,” he continued.

The latest American Barometer found that 84 percent of Republicans said they approved of the president ahead of the midterms, while only 15 percent of Democrats said the same.

The American Barometer was conducted on October 30-31 among 1,000 registered voters. The sampling margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent.