News

Terrorism and Midterm US Elections Linked

Public opinion surveys in the United States suggest the Republican Party could lose control of one or both houses of Congress in the upcoming midterm election on November seventh.  The poll numbers are driven in part by voter perceptions of President Bush's handling of security issues.   Mr. Bush is making a series of major speeches on terror and the war in Iraq.  VOA's Peter Fedynsky reports these issues are expected to play an important role in the upcoming vote.

President Bush told an audience in suburban Atlanta, Georgia Thursday that the September 11th,  2001 terror attacks revealed gaps in America's national defense.  Mr. Bush said the country is safer today because of his administration's policies.

"We are safer because we've taken action to protect the homeland. We are safer because we are on offense against our enemies overseas. We're safer because of the skill and sacrifice of the brave Americans who defend our people."

On August 30th, the day before he began the current round of speeches, President Bush was asked if they would impact the midterm election.  "They're speeches about the future of this country,” he said. “And they're speeches to make it clear that, if we retreat before the job is done, this nation will become even more in jeopardy. These are important times, and I seriously hope people wouldn't politicize these issues that I'm going to talk about.

Opposition Democrats say the president does just that when he suggests that critics of his terror and Iraq policies are weak on national security.  They also reject the president's claim that Iraq is central to winning the war on terror. 

Retired general Wesley Clark competed for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. He says Iraq is a major strategic blunder.  "It's for America to face the facts.  Invading Iraq was an unnecessary war.  It distracted us from what we were trying to accomplish in Afghanistan.  And it's been counterproductive in winning the war on terror."

Public opinion polls support the general's statement.  Surveys indicate more than 60 percent of Americans questioned disapprove of the president's handling of the war in Iraq.  His anti-terrorism policies fare better, with support hovering at about 50 percent. 

But Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute says domestic economic and social concerns make security a pivotal issue for the Republicans. "They don't have [success on reducing] gas prices. They can't do much with Medicare prescription drugs.  All they've got going for them is the slight, very slight edge in dealing with terrorism."

Democrats need a gain of 15 seats to take control of the House of Representatives and six in the Senate.  Chuck Todd is the editor of "The Hotline," a political weblog. He says the political fortunes of both parties depend on the voters' mood on Election Day.

"If the voter goes into the polls thinking about Iraq then Democrats will have a big night.  If voters are going to the polls and thinking about terrorism then Republicans have a fighting chance," he says.

Republicans are expected to highlight terrorism in the fall campaign.  The pro-Republican grassroots organization Progress for America has already launched a national cable television advertising campaign to focus on the issue.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs