05-11-18 08:46:00,

Both Democrats and Republicans are viewing the 2018 midterms as a rematch for 2016. All gloves are off as both parties hope to keep or gain power in an election not lacking in juicy scandals. Here are some of them.

The midterms are a big deal: all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs, along with governorships in 39 states and territories. Both parties have made the election into a de facto referendum on President Donald Trump: Democrats are calling for a “Blue Wave” to block his agenda, while the Republicans are hoping for bigger majorities to overcome Democrat resistance in Congress.

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© Reuters / Marcos Brindicci

It may not be “the most important election of a lifetime” as the cliche goes, but it is already the most expensive one ever. Estimates based on publicly available campaign filings suggest both major parties, as well as third parties and other political actors, spending north of $5 billion to ensure their victory.

With stakes this high, things are getting ugly in places from sea to shining sea. In Florida and Georgia, where Democrats hope to elect African-American governors, they’ve accused Republicans of racism and voter suppression. A Republican in California, fighting for what seemed like a hereditary seat, has called his challenger a “terrorist.” And in Illinois, an actual Nazi got onto the Republican ticket in a hereditary Democrat district, despite the party’s disavowal.

Florida: Democrats cry racist

When he won the Republican primary with Trump’s endorsement, Congressman Ron DeSantis may have thought his path to the governor’s mansion of the Sunshine State would be smooth and clear. Then Andrew Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee endorsed by Bernie Sanders, pulled an upset victory over the establishment candidate Gwen Graham.

DeSantis had already established his MAGA credentials with a profoundly strange ad featuring his wife and children. In an interview after the primary, he expressed confidence that Florida voters won’t “monkey up” the good thing they have going by voting for a self-described socialist.

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© (L) Reuters / Jonathan Ernst; (R) Reuters / POOL

“Racist!”cried the Democrats,

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