(Austen Leake/Tribune-Star via AP)

It's Election Day: Voters head to polls across tri-state

November 06, 2018 - 6:15 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- Voters are heading to the polls across a rainy tri-state Tuesday in what has shaped up to be one of the most watched midterm elections in American history.

President Donald Trump's shadow is hanging over midterm elections that will determine the future of his administration. He used his final pitch to ask voters to help preserve "fragile" GOP victories that could be erased by Democratic gains in Congress.

With the monthslong fight serving as a testing ground for his nationalist appeals and the strength of the coalition that powered him to the White House two years ago, Trump closed out a campaign season that has been defined by his racially charged rhetoric, hard-line immigration moves and scattershot policy proposals. Acknowledging the stakes in the closing days of campaigning, Trump stressed to voters that everything is on the line.

"It's all fragile. Everything I told you about, it can be undone and changed by the Democrats if they get in," Trump told supporters Monday on a telephone "town hall" organized by his re-election campaign. "You see how they've behaved. You see what's happening with them. They've really become radicalized."

NEW YORK

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks a third term and Republicans and Democrats battle over the makeup of the state's congressional delegation as the caustic election midterm election campaign reaches its climax.

Voters across the state will decide Tuesday on candidates for governor, senator, attorney general, state legislature and 27 seats in the U.S. House. Some of the most watched races this year involve incumbent Republican members of congress fighting an unusual number of Democratic challengers.

New York has more than 12 million registered voters. Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2 to 1. Unlike many other states where millions of votes have already been cast, New York doesn't have early voting, though many have mailed in absentee ballots.

In New York City, numerous voters reported broken machines and winding lines. The Board of Elections said it may have been caused by new two-page ballots and rainy weather. 

NEW JERSEY

Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 8 p.m.

Election Day in New Jersey is off to a foggy and drizzly start.

Bob Hugin says he's seen "enthusiasm across the state" for his candidacy as he hopes to become the first Republican elected to the U.S. senate from New Jersey in 50 years. Hugin, who served as CEO of the drugmaker Celgene, is hoping to unseat incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez, whose seeking his third term. He cast his ballot Tuesday morning in Summit.

New Jersey's senior U.S. senator is calling on voters to ignore rainy conditions and cast their ballots. Democrat Bob Menendez made the remarks Tuesday morning shortly after he voted in Harrison. He told reporters that he hopes it "pours with votes," noting the only way a "blue wave" can occur in New Jersey is if people get out and vote.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday has found that Sen. Bob Menendez has a 15-point lead over his Republican challenger Bob Hugin a day before voters go to the polls in highly charged midterms. Menendez, a Democrat, is ahead of Hugin 55 percent to 40 percent, according to the poll. Another poll released Friday by Stockton University had Menendez ahead, 51 percent to 39 percent.

CONNECTICUT

Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 8 p.m.

Voters will decide Connecticut's latest in a string of tight races for governor. Polling leading up to Tuesday has shown two businessmen, Republican Bob Stefanowski and Democrat Ned Lamont, in a close battle to fill the seat being vacated by two-term Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Malloy had close races in 2010 and 2014. As in those elections, Connecticut is facing financial challenges. Meanwhile, petitioning candidate Oz Griebel has tried to persuade voters to ditch both parties.

The Republican candidate for governor has encouraged several Connecticut communities to have voter challengers at the polls on Election Day. While Bob Stefanowski's campaign spokesman said Monday the request was made in few locations to ensure "all those eligible to vote are able to cast a ballot on Election Day," the state Democrats and the government watchdog group Common Cause are questioning whether it's an attempt to intimidate voters. Stefanowski's spokesman denies the claim.

Independent governor candidate Oz Griebel is rebuffing a call to withdraw and endorse Democrat Ned Lamont. A group of organizations and individuals who support abortion rights, stronger gun laws and other issues, sent a letter to Griebel and his running mate on Monday, claiming there's "no clear pathway for your victory" and predicting they'll ultimately help Republican Bob Stefanowski. Greibel's campaign tweeted that Griebel and Frank are the "best choice" on those issues.