Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt explain why US midterm polls are as crucial as the presidential election

Leonardo DiCaprio on Saturday called on Americans to go vote in the upcoming US midterm elections, slated to be held on 6 November. In a video posted by NowThis News on Friday, DiCaprio and his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood co-star Brad Pitt said that the state house elections may have a significant impact on issues such as climate change, education funding, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice reform, and the ability to vote itself.

"Elections don't just matter when voting for president. This election might be the most consequential of our lifetime," DiCaprio said. "So much is at stake, from gun safety laws to immigration policy, clean water and air, and whether or not millions of people have access to health care," he added.

Other than encouraging voters to cast their ballots on 6 November, Pitt also said that voters should work to encourage voter turnout. "There is so much you can do, from texting and phone banking, to knocking on doors (sic)," he said.

The path to power in the House of Representatives runs through a few dozen districts in Tuesday's election, with Republicans defending their majority and Democrats looking to gain 23 seats they would need to win control.

After the first polls close in the eastern United States, the tallies will start revealing clues to where Americans stand in 2018 on immigration, health care, gender equality in the #MeToo era — and who they want representing them in Washington during the next two years of Donald Trump's presidency.

Meanwhile, Trump launched an eight-state campaign blitz on Wednesday, seeking to shore up Senate Republicans and GOP gubernatorial candidates against an onslaught of Democratic surrogates, including entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey. Trump will crisscross the nation, landing him in Senate battlefields such as Indiana, Missouri and Florida along with nail-biter contests for governor in Georgia and Ohio.

Winfrey, who offered crucial support to President Barack Obama during his 2008 rise, will campaign Thursday for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is attempting to become the nation's first black female governor.

Obama plans to campaign Friday for Abrams in Atlanta and in Miami to boost Florida Senator Bill Nelson and Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for governor.

Democrats are defending several Senate incumbents in Republican-leaning states in their quest to narrow the GOP's 51-49 majority. The terrain is more favourable in the House, where Democrats need a net pickup of 23 seats to recapture the majority, and in several states with vulnerable Republican governors.

New statistics released Wednesday by the state Division of Elections show registered Republicans still have the edge, casting 1.43 million ballots compared to nearly 1.37 million by registered Democrats. More than 592,000 voters with no party affiliation have voted.

With inputs from AP

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Updated Date: Nov 03, 2018 14:33:58 IST