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Americans Head to the Polls

It is Election Day in the United States. Voters will choose all 435 lawmakers in the House of Representatives, 33 senators, and governors in 36 states.

Opposition Democrats hope to win control of the House for the first time in 12 years and are challenging Republican control of the Senate.

Most public opinion polls say Democrats could win the 15 additional seats they need in the House, but will have a harder time picking up six seats in the Senate with tight races in the states of Tennessee, New Jersey, Virginia, and Missouri.

This election will decide much of the final two years of the Bush presidency. Holding Republican majorities in Congress would make it easier for the president to keep U.S. troops in Iraq and make permanent record tax cuts that he says have helped the economy.

Democrats in charge of either house of Congress would have subpoena power to investigate the president's handling of the war, which a majority of Americans now say was a mistake.

Iraq has dominated much of this campaign. President Bush says it is the central front in the fight against terrorism. He says opposition calls for a troop withdrawal and questions about domestic surveillance show the Democratic Party has no plan to keep America safe.

Most Democrats say the war has made America less secure, but the party is divided about what to do in Iraq and when to bring U.S. troops home.