On November 2, Barack Obama, the US president, and the Democrats will face a huge political challenge in this year's midterm elections.
The economy is stalling, public anger over administration policies is mounting, and a resurgent right-wing movement has seized the moment, pledging to shake up the status quo in Washington.
The election comes as a controversial Supreme Court decision has made campaign financing murkier than ever.
Shadow Republican front groups are now spending millions of dollars in local races – supporting Tea party candidates and attacking political opponents – with no disclosure.
It begs the question: Is the Tea party a citizen's revolt, or an "Astroturf" movement funded by the right-wing establishment in Washington?
Fault Lines presenter Avi Lewis travels to Nevada, the epicentre of the housing crisis, where Tea party challenger Sharron Angle is looking to upset the Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
Meanwhile in Florida, there is another battle underway – one which could shape the political landscape for the next decade.
Every ten years, the political lines are redrawn by state legislators to reflect changes in population. In the back rooms, map-makers are poised to lock in the same old entrenched power for the next ten years.
With the pre-election polls tilted in their favour, it is a once in a decade opportunity for Republicans - should they win - to ensure a grip on power for the next ten years.
This episode of Fault Lines can be seen from Thursday, October 21, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0630; Saturday: 0830, 1630; Sunday: 0230, 1230, 2330; Tuesday: 1930; Wednesday: 0030, 0730.