News / USA

GOP Has High Expectations as Americans Cast Votes in Elections

A voter returns his polling card after casting his ballot at a polling station in Queen Anne, Maryland, 02 Nov 2010
A voter returns his polling card after casting his ballot at a polling station in Queen Anne, Maryland, 02 Nov 2010

Multimedia

Americans are voting in midterm elections that could determine the fate of President Barack Obama's legislative agenda for the next two years.  Republicans are expected to make significant gains in the U.S. Congress.

At stake in nationwide balloting are all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, more than one-third of the Senate, and more than half of America's governorships.

President Obama had a simple election-eve message for voters: "You have got a chance to change your community and your country. All you have to do is vote."

After electoral cycles that saw Democrats win control of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, Republicans are widely expected to reverse the tide this year.

Watch Laurel Bowman's Companion TV Report:

Public-opinion polls show Republicans favored among likely voters, many of whom say they are angry and frustrated over the sluggish U.S. economy, high unemployment, and America's soaring national debt.

Although Republicans could seize both houses of Congress, it is the House of Representatives where they are thought to have the best chance of taking control.

Sarah Williams' Q&A with Jim Malone on impact of Midterm election:

A party switch in the House would end the four-year tenure of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her likely replacement would be House Republican Leader John Boehner, who has pledged to reverse what he sees as the free-spending ways of the Obama administration.

"If we [Republicans] are lucky enough to be in the majority and I am lucky enough to be the Speaker of the House, it is going to be real different [in Congress]," said Boehner.

Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence told CBS' Early Show that Americans are demanding a change of course.

"People are scared," he said. "They look at a second year in a row of more than a trillion-dollar [federal] deficit, of government bailouts, and a government takeover of healthcare. And I do not think today is going to be about the American people saying they want Washington to get more done. I think there is a lot they want to get undone in Washington, D.C. A change in direction."

But a key Obama ally, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, said the president is not to blame for America's economic woes, and suggested that voters should not try to punish Democrats at the ballot box.

"I think expectations were unreasonably high for Barack Obama," said Rendell. "He took over the presidency facing the worst set of problems - not of his own making - that any American president has faced in the last 50 years. The problems were created by the failed policies of the previous eight years, and he [Obama] cannot turn them around automatically."

President Obama has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday, presumably to discuss the election results and how he plans to deal with a Congress that could have a radically-different composition beginning next year.

The last time Republicans took control of Congress was in 1994 - two years into the presidency of Bill Clinton. The next year saw a budget battle between the White House and Congress that produced a temporary shutdown of the federal government. But in subsequent years, President Clinton worked effectively with a Republican Congress on several major initiatives, including an overhaul of U.S. social welfare programs.

Republicans are pledging to halt President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment: a restructuring of America's private health insurance system.  Some Republicans vying for congressional seats belong to the so-called "Tea Party" movement that sprung up after Mr. Obama entered office.  As a group, Tea Partiers profess a determination to cut government spending, and have rejected the possibility of compromise on fiscal issues.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid