MIDTERMS 2022: Donald Trump and Melania vote in Florida as he hints ‘announcement’ will


Donald Trump joined millions of Americans turning out to vote on Tuesday as he cast his ballot for the critical 2022 midterm elections – with Republicans heading towards a decisive victory in the House and the Senate going down to the wire. 

He told reporters afterward that he was ‘looking forward’ to a planned announcement at his Mar-a-Lago home, which is widely speculated to be the beginning of his third campaign for the White House.

Trump also confirmed that he voted to re-elect GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, with whom he’s been at odds over the rising Republican star’s refusal to rule out a potential 2024 primary challenge to Trump.

The ex-president bashed his former ally as ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ at a campaign rally on Saturday night, a move that invoked the ire of fellow Republicans.

The former president was seen voting in-person at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida alongside his wife Melania Trump. It’s his second election voting as a Sunshine State resident after switching his home state from New York in 2019.

It comes after he told supporters in Ohio last night that Tuesday would bring a ‘red wave’ and dropped his biggest hint yet that he’s considering another White House bid. 

Asked about his potential 2024 candidacy while in Palm Beach, Trump replied: ‘I think Tuesday (Nov. 15) will be a very exciting day for a lot of people, and I look forward to seeing you at Mar-a-Lago.’

‘I think we’re going to have a great night, it’s going to be great for the country,’ he told reporters of the midterms after casting his ballot.

‘No matter who you vote for, you have to vote. It’s so important. This is going to be a very important election.’ 

He added, ‘Hopefully the right thing will happen.’

After voting, Trump took to his social media platform Truth Social to gloat about how much campaigning he’s done for this election cycle. He posted a lengthy statement touting the $350 million he’s raised for Republicans in this cycle, and the $16.4 million he said he’s raised in five weeks for ‘Senate, Gubernatorial, and Attorney General races across the country.’

A Trumpworld source told DailyMail.com that he was planning to announce at the rally in Ohio on Monday night to ‘take credit’ for Republicans’ expected victory. His close friend and former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also told DailyMail.com that Trump should let Tuesday’s results speak for themselves. 

 

Donald Trump and his wife Melania voted in person on Tuesday morning at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida

The former president briefly spoke with reporters after casting his ballot, urging all Americans to do the same 'no matter who you vote for'

The former president briefly spoke with reporters after casting his ballot, urging all Americans to do the same ‘no matter who you vote for’

He also confirmed that he cast a ballot to re-elect Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, despite mocking him as 'Ron DeSanctimonious' on Saturday

He also confirmed that he cast a ballot to re-elect Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, despite mocking him as ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ on Saturday

It comes as:

  • RealClearPolitics forecasts a decisive Republican majority in the House of Representatives and a likely win in the Senate
  • A GOP aide told DailyMail.com that a slim win in the Senate could lead to bigger gains in 2024, when more Democratic seats are up for grabs than Republican
  • Donald Trump told Fox News on Monday night that November 8 would be ‘the most interesting midterm they’ve ever had’ 
  • The economy is still top of mind for most voters, and an albatross for Democratic candidates as Republicans tie them to Biden’s financial policies
  • Trump promised a ‘big announcement’ on November 15, which has prompted some Republican fears that the specter of a Trump 2024 announcement would put off Independents
  • President Joe Biden told reporters on Monday night that it would be ‘difficult’ to govern with a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress 

 Instead, he told crowds while campaigning for Republican Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance, ‘We want nothing to detract from the importance of tomorrow. You understand that.’

‘I’m going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, November 15,’ Trump said. 

During the speech he also hammered Democrats on crime levels and the economy, both of which are expected to be top issues for voters and ones that Republicans have largely led on in the polls.

‘If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, then tomorrow you must vote Republican in a giant red wave that we’ve all been hearing about,’ Trump said. 

Giuliani told DailyMail.com on Monday afternoon, ‘I think he’s gonna run. In fact, I’m at a point where I’d be surprised if he didn’t.’ 

But Republicans, especially those in moderate districts, are privately worried about the specter of a potential Trump 2024 campaign. They’re likely relieved he did not announce last night, which could have given Democrats an eleventh-hour spike in momentum if Trump made the race about himself.

'I think we¿re going to have a great night, it¿s going to be great for the country,' he told reporters of the midterms after casting his ballot

‘I think we’re going to have a great night, it’s going to be great for the country,’ he told reporters of the midterms after casting his ballot

It's Trump's second time voting as a Floridian after changing his residency from New York to the Sunshine State in 2019

It’s Trump’s second time voting as a Floridian after changing his residency from New York to the Sunshine State in 2019

One person shouted 'We love you!' at Trump as he left his polling place on Tuesday

One person shouted ‘We love you!’ at Trump as he left his polling place on Tuesday

He said he hopes 'the right thing will happen' after Tuesday's vote as Republican allies of his have already started sowing doubt in the electoral count

He said he hopes ‘the right thing will happen’ after Tuesday’s vote as Republican allies of his have already started sowing doubt in the electoral count

Early on Tuesday morning, voters began casting their ballots in the ‘knife-edge’ midterm election which could see President Joe Biden’s agenda stymied by a Republican-controlled Congress for the next two years. 

A record Election Day turnout is likely after a 40-year-high of more than 44 million Americans cast their ballots early. It surpassed the early voter turnout for 2018, the year of Democrats’ ‘blue wave’ and is the highest number for a midterm election since at least 1982. 

Photographs showed lines already wrapped around the block at polling stations across the East Coast and then in the West in states like Arizona, where polls open at 6am local time.

It’s shaping up to be a long night for President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after polls close, with the vast majority of election forecasts suggesting big gains for Republicans in the House of Representatives and a very high chance of winning a slim majority in the Senate.

The GOP’s confidence is palpable – an aide told DailyMail.com that anything less than a 30 to 40-seat pickup would be a ‘bad night.’

Biden himself conceded that it will be ‘tougher’ for Democrats to keep their slim majority in the House, in comments to reporters on Monday night. With job approval numbers in the high 30s and low 40s for much of his term, the president has largely stayed out of races in competitive states like Arizona and Nevada.

A brief surge of momentum that Democrats experienced over the summer, following the Supreme Court’s reversal of federal abortion protections, seems to have dissipated as voters remain increasingly concerned about the state of the economy and rising crime levels.

The vast majority of pre-Election Day polls have shown Republicans experiencing a last-minute surge in enthusiasm driven by those issues.

RYDAL, PENNSYLVANIA: The election will see which party holds control of Congress for the latter half of President Biden's term

RYDAL, PENNSYLVANIA: The election will see which party holds control of Congress for the latter half of President Biden’s term

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: Early voter turnout has already hit four-decade highs even before November 8

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: Early voter turnout has already hit four-decade highs even before November 8

Thirty-four races for Congress are still considered toss-ups but it is becoming clear that Republicans have the momentum, despite the Democrats making a small comeback in the closing stages

Thirty-four races for Congress are still considered toss-ups but it is becoming clear that Republicans have the momentum, despite the Democrats making a small comeback in the closing stages

A final midterms poll projection shows Republicans with a grip on the majority in the House and picking up three seats in the Senate, with less than 24 hours until millions of Americans head to the polls

A final midterms poll projection shows Republicans with a grip on the majority in the House and picking up three seats in the Senate, with less than 24 hours until millions of Americans head to the polls

 Left-wing voters are also disenchanted with their party’s messaging, which has been heavily focused on abortion and the GOP’s threat to democracy, and have complained that Democrats’ platform does not resonate enough with people’s everyday issues. 

If the margins are unprecedentedly close tonight, it’s possible that Americans may not know which party controls the House or Senate for a matter of days. 

Because different states have different rules for counting electoral votes, various ‘red mirages’ or ‘blue mirages’ could appear early in the vote count and skew perceptions. 

Election officials in states like Florida, Arizona and North Carolina are allowed to open mail-in ballots before Election Day. Those places are likely to see big gains for Democrats, who make up the majority of early voters, before they even out with Republican day-of votes.

On the other hand, states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin do not permit for the counting of mail-in votes until Election Day, meaning that they could appear to be going red quickly as same-day votes are counted ahead of early ballots. 

A Monday survey released by Politico/Morning Consult shows the economy and inflation at the top of nearly 8 in 10 voters’ minds. 

RYDAL, PENNSYLVANIA: Images from all along America's East show long lines of voters already waiting to cast their ballots on Election Day

RYDAL, PENNSYLVANIA: Images from all along America’s East show long lines of voters already waiting to cast their ballots on Election Day

NEW GLOUCESTER, MAINE: Republicans are expected to make a strong showing on Election Day, according to multiple polls

NEW GLOUCESTER, MAINE: Republicans are expected to make a strong showing on Election Day, according to multiple polls

MIAMI, FLORIDA: There's also several tight governor's races across the country that could see MAGA Republicans leading more states

MIAMI, FLORIDA: There’s also several tight governor’s races across the country that could see MAGA Republicans leading more states

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa cast their votes at Bryn Athyn Borough Hall, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa cast their votes at Bryn Athyn Borough Hall, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman also arrived with his wife, Giselle Fetterman, to vote in his home town of Braddock on Tuesday

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman also arrived with his wife, Giselle Fetterman, to vote in his home town of Braddock on Tuesday

LADUE, MISSOURI: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Trudy Busch Valentine arrives at her polling place to vote Tuesday. She's the underdog in her race against Trump-backed Republican Eric Schmitt

LADUE, MISSOURI: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Trudy Busch Valentine arrives at her polling place to vote Tuesday. She’s the underdog in her race against Trump-backed Republican Eric Schmitt

It also shows that 70 percent of voters believe the United States is off on the wrong track – a dire sign for Democrats in an election that’s widely seen as a referendum on their stewardship of the country.

‘I think the expectation is that we pick up 40 seats at minimum’ in the House, a GOP aide told DailyMail.com on Tuesday morning.

‘Anything less than 40 seats is a bad night.’

As of now, Republicans are expected to hold 227 seats in the House after Election Day, compared to Democrats’ projected 174 seats.

It means that even if Democrats win all 34 toss-up races, they still would fall short of the 218 members needed for a majority.

In the Senate, currently split 50-50, Republicans are expected to flip three blue Seats in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada for a majority in the upper chamber that could bring Biden’s judicial and Cabinet confirmations to a grinding halt.

The slim majority this year could set the stage for even greater Republican control in 2024, the GOP aide told DailyMail.com.

NORCROSS, GEORGIA: A person checks in to vote on November 8 after the Peach State already shattered its early voting records

NORCROSS, GEORGIA: A person checks in to vote on November 8 after the Peach State already shattered its early voting records

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: David Walchesky (L), judge of elections, and Evelyn Cain, majority inspector, prepare the ballot scanner at a polling place inside a private residents garage for the US midterm election

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: David Walchesky (L), judge of elections, and Evelyn Cain, majority inspector, prepare the ballot scanner at a polling place inside a private residents garage for the US midterm election

MIAMI, FLORIDA: One GOP aide told DailyMail.com that he would be surprised if Republicans didn't pick up 40 seats in the House

MIAMI, FLORIDA: One GOP aide told DailyMail.com that he would be surprised if Republicans didn’t pick up 40 seats in the House 

They noted that Republicans are defending more seats than Democrats are this year, which will flip in the next election cycle. 

‘If Republicans, you know, do really well in the Senate, have like 53 seats or whatever, it’s not out of the question that we can get to 60 senators in 2024 and win the presidency,’ the GOP aide said.

Meanwhile heavy hitters from both party made their closing messages to voters on Monday night.

Trump took the stage at a campaign rally for Ohio Republican Senate candidate JD Vance, who’s expected to narrowly win a close race against House Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan.

Vance has come out on top of nearly every poll taken in the month leading up to Election Day, though if Democrats score an upset victory it could mean that projections of a GOP ‘red wave’ have been overstated.

Trump told Fox News after the rally, ‘I think it is going to be very interesting, maybe the most interesting midterm they’ve ever had.’ 

Biden, meanwhile, spoke at an Election Day Eve rally in Maryland where he warned voters that Tuesday could have ramifications on the country’s future beyond the next election cycle.

‘Our lifetimes are going to be shaped by what happens the next year to three years,’ Biden said. ‘It’s going to shape what the next couple decades look like.’

YUMA, ARIZONA: Polls are opening across the country between 6am and 7am depending on the state and time zone

YUMA, ARIZONA: Polls are opening across the country between 6am and 7am depending on the state and time zone

DENVER, COLORADO: A Mexican-American music group, Mariachi America, performs for people who are in line to vote on Tuesday morning

DENVER, COLORADO: A Mexican-American music group, Mariachi America, performs for people who are in line to vote on Tuesday morning

The president told reporters after the event that it would be ‘more difficult’ to govern with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, though he added: ‘I think we’ll win the Senate, I think the House is tougher.’ 

As of Tuesday morning, Biden has no public events listed on his schedule. 

It’s possible that his plans on whether to run for president again in 2024 hinge on the midterms’ outcome, as more and more members of his party join a growing chorus calling for new and younger leadership.

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips told CNN on Monday night that ‘regardless’ of how the election plays out, ‘I believe Democrats must rebuild our brand and repopulate our bench of future leaders – for both Congress and the White House.’ 

‘President Biden has fulfilled his promise to serve as a stabilizing “bridge” to the future, and I expect a majority of Democrats will be seeking a next generation candidate to take the baton in 2024.’ 

More vulnerable Democrats have been even blunter in their calls for change. Tim Ryan in Ohio has been forthright about his opinion that Biden should not run for president again – while running in a state that Trump won by 8 points in 2020. 



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