Republicans appeared headed for a massive mid-term election triumph in the US with barely 24 hours to go for key Congressional polls, as the final opinion polls predicted the party wresting control of the House of Representatives.
Opinion polls logged just hours before the polling commenced show Republicans set to win the House of Representatives and eat hugely into the Democratic majority in the Senate, dividing power in Washington and forging a polarised prelude to Obama's 2012 re-election bid. Republicans held a six point edge 49 per cent to 46 per cent over their traditional Democrat rivals, according to the final NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey.
With the opinion polls showing a much larger swing for Republicans than the 1994 elections when they for the first time in 40 years gained majority in the House of Representatives. Republicans appeared set to gain more than 39 seats which would give them comfortable majority in the House. Presently, the party holds 178 of the total of 435 seats.
The voters appeared demoralised by a faltering economy and appeared to be in no mood to respond to last minute wooing by President Barack Obama and other Democrat heavyweights like Bill Clinton, the survey said. Republicans, electrified by the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement have vowed to overturn Obama's sweeping health reforms and have promised a budget crunch and tax cuts, which they claim will reduce the deficit and ignite growth.
The election for all 435 House seats in the Lower House and 37 in the Senate comes as the euphoria stirred by Obama in 2008 seems an age away. Most of the pollsters even predicted a Republican control of both the Houses saying nearly half the voters wanted to register a protest against the Democrats. But a non-partisan cook political report concluded that the Republican chances of re-taking Senate were remote.
The newsletter predicted a gain of six to eight seats for the Republicans which would give the Party anything between 47 to 49 seats in 100 member Senate.