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Trump says bomb alerts harming Republican vote ‘momentum’

Washington, United States | AFP | President Donald Trump claimed Friday that the explosive devices mailed to his rivals were slowing Republican “momentum” ahead of November’s midterm elections, with polls showing Democrats boosting their advantage.

“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics,” Trump tweeted.

“Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”

Authorities have intercepted at least 11 packages sent to Trump’s opponents and critics.

Crude, homemade bombs and other suspected explosive devices have been addressed to former president Barack Obama and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former vice president Joe Biden, several lawmakers including Senator Cory Booker, CNN, liberal billionaire donor George Soros and other figures loathed by the US president’s supporters.

While officials and politicians on all sides have branded the mailings acts of domestic terrorism, Trump’s placement of the word “Bomb” in quotation marks was immediately seized on by critics as a bid to downplay the threat.

Republicans are seeking to hold on to their majorities in the US Senate and House of Representatives in the November 6 midterms.

But Democratic enthusiasm and grass roots organization and frustration with Trump among core constituencies like suburban women and Latinos have led forecasters to predict a likely Democratic takeover of the House.

Trump is not on the ballot but two thirds of registered voters see him as a factor in the election, according to an NPR/Marist poll released Friday.

And 47 percent of voters said their opinion of Trump makes them more likely to vote for a Democrat for Congress, compared to 34 percent who said their opinion of him makes them more likely to vote for a Republican.

Democrats, the polls said, have boosted their advantage to 10 points, compared to six points earlier this month.

Democrats are leading Republicans 50 percent to 40 percent in the generic ballot, which addresses who voters will vote for Congress in their district.

The figures align with an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Sunday, that shows Democrats with a nine-point lead, 50-41, over Republicans among likely voters.

But NBC also reports Trump’s job approval rating among registered voters at 47 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove — his highest rating as president in the poll.

On November 6 Americans will pick their representatives for all 435 seats in the US House, and 35 seats in the 100-member Senate, in addition to state legislatures and governors’ mansions.

Democrats must gain 23 seats to reclaim the House majority. Republicans are more likely to retain their majority in the Senate, currently at 51-49, because Democrats are defending 26 of the 35 seats, many of them in pro-Trump states.

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