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Al Jazeera’s guide to the US midterm elections.

Election day is less than 24 hours away in the United States, where millions of voters are expected to cast ballots on Tuesday in key midterm elections.

The vote to determine the next composition of Congress comes as the country faces intense political polarization and amid widespread concerns about a struggling economy, reproductive rights and the future of democracy itself.

The results will also set the tone for the final two years of Democratic President Joe Biden’s term, as a strong Republican showing could upset his domestic and foreign policy plans.

Here, Al Jazeera lays out everything you need to know:

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What are midterm exams?

Midterm elections take place two years after a presidential election, halfway through a US president’s four-year term. On November 8, the 435-seat US House of Representatives will be contested and 35 senators will also be elected.

While Biden’s name will not be on any ballot, “the midterms are, at least in part, a referendum on the performance of the current president,” Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at the University of New York, told Al Jazeera recently. Emory.

Read our US Midterm Exam 101 Explainer here.

What are the key points?

In the run-up to Tuesday’s vote, many Republican candidates have focused on the economy as Americans grapple with rising costs of living. Democrats, for their part, hope their defense of reproductive rights and democratic institutions will translate into support at the polls.

In general, the economy, abortion, immigration and democracy have been the main topics of conversation before the midterm elections.

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Find a full summary of the key issues, and where each party stands, here.

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What economic issues are on voters’ minds?

For months, people in the US have expressed concern about skyrocketing inflation, fueled in part by global crises like the war in Ukraine.

A Monmouth University poll from early October found that 82 percent of Americans said inflation was an “extremely or very important” problem for the government to address, making it the top topic on their radars before the midterm elections.

Here, Al Jazeera breaks down the top five economic issues to watch as American voters tell us how soaring costs of everything from gasoline to food are affecting their daily lives.

What has been said about immigration?

Many Republicans have adopted strong anti-immigration language throughout the midterm campaign, seeking to blame Democrats for the large number of asylum seekers arriving at the United States’ southern border with Mexico.

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Read more here about how the GOP hopes its tough stance on immigration will win support.

Will the intermediate results have implications beyond the US?

The intervening campaigns have largely focused on domestic issues. But the results will affect the rest of Biden’s first presidential term, including how the president deals with key foreign policy issues like Ukraine.

More specifically, pundits told Al Jazeera last month that the Republicans’ gains could exacerbate doubts about continuing Washington’s strong support for the Ukrainian government in the face of Russia’s invasion.

Read more here.

What races should we be watching?

With 35 Senate seats up for grabs on Tuesday, Republicans are pushing to regain control of the key chamber of Congress.

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While many of those seats are in Republican or Democratic strongholds, where each party’s respective candidates are all but guaranteed to win, some contests are expected to be extremely close, especially in so-called swing states.

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Take a look at the 10 key senatorial races to watch.

Are other key releases up for grabs?

Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin – these are just a few of the 36 US states that will elect their next governors on November 8.

In some key states, these governors will have significant influence over key issues that have dominated the election cycle, such as abortion rights and access to the vote.

Here, Al Jazeera takes a look at the top gubernatorial races to watch.

How many people are expected to vote?

Fewer eligible voters generally cast ballots in US midterm elections compared to presidential elections.

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However, the last midterm contest in 2018 was marked by a higher-than-usual turnout, according to the US Census, which saw an 11 percent increase from 2014. turnout in four decades.”

Al Jazeera’s US Midterms infographics are here to help break it all down.

INTERACTIVE_US MIDTERMS_VOTERTURNOUT_2

Are there any barriers to voting?

In recent years, several US states have enacted restrictions on voting. They include restrictions on mail-in ballots and measures that rights advocates say continue a long history of disenfranchising black voters.

In the run-up to the midterm elections, social justice groups are pushing to expand access to voting and election materials for people detained in US prisons. Read more about that effort here.

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Meanwhile, Al Jazeera recently spoke with Joshua Ang Price, a former election commissioner in Arkansas’s largest district, about how barriers to voting have affected marginalized communities in the US state.

Will the midterm results tell us anything more about the political climate in the United States?

Democrats say the future of American democracy is at risk as Republicans have nominated dozens of candidates contesting the country’s 2020 presidential election that Biden won over former President Donald Trump.

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Al Jazeera recently spoke with experts who said that while the US system makes it highly unlikely that these candidates will influence future contests, the denial of the election poses a threat: the erosion of public confidence in democratic institutions.

Read all about it here.

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