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President's future at stake in elections

Voting could influence Bush's policies, re-election


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(CNN) -- President Bush is not on any ballot this fall, but no politician has more at stake in the midterm elections.

Bush has campaigned across the nation during the past two weeks with the knowledge that Tuesday's voting will significantly affect his ability to govern for the next two years and seek re-election in 2004. He visited three states Monday alone.

The outcome in the Senate will largely decide whether Bush can push through judiciary nominations, including potential Supreme Court nominations, and pursue his tax-cut plan while leading wars on terrorism and, possibly, against Iraq.

Meanwhile, the White House is monitoring gubernatorial races to determine what sort of battleground Bush will face in 2004 and whether he can rely on powerful friends in key states.

If Democrats hold the Senate, Bush would need to rely on a GOP-controlled House to advocate the administration's agenda on Capitol Hill.

None of this is lost on Bush, who has spent much of the past two years raising millions of dollars for GOP candidates. This year alone, Bush has raised about $140 million for Republican candidates and state parties nationwide. He has shattered records with his prolific fund raising. He has visited 40 states and appeared at fund-raisers in 35.

If the Democrats do not pick up additional seats in the Senate or win the House, it will be seen as a win for Bush. Historically, the party holding the White House usually loses seats in midterm elections.



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