News / USA

    All Signs Point to Republican Gains in Elections, Say Observers

    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, left, jokes with New Hampshire's Republican chair, former governor John Sununu during a rally in Concord, New Hampshire, 22 Oct. 2010.
    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, left, jokes with New Hampshire's Republican chair, former governor John Sununu during a rally in Concord, New Hampshire, 22 Oct. 2010.

    Political experts say all signs point to major Republican Party gains in U.S. congressional midterm elections set to take place in less than one week on November 2.  The latest public opinion surveys, fundraising totals and analysts' predictions seem to favor Republicans as they seek to win back control of Congress, which they lost to Democrats in 2006.  

    Public opinion polls show Republicans have momentum heading into Tuesday's elections.  But that has not stopped President Barack Obama from making an intense last-minute appeal for support for Democratic candidates.

    Mr. Obama appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a comedy television program popular with young people in the United States.  While on the show, he defended the record of his administration's first two years in office.

    "The presumption is, well, we did not get 100 percent of what we wanted," Mr. Obama said. "We got 90 percent of what we wanted, so let us focus on the 10 percent we did not get, as opposed to the 90 percent that we did."

    A similar message is being delivered on the campaign trail by former Democtatic President Bill Clinton.

    "And I personally believe both the president and the Congress have done a better job than most people think they have done," said the former president.

    But Republican leaders believe the political energy and momentum is on their side this year, just as it was with the Democrats in 2006 and 2008.

    Be prepared for a change in power the day after November 2, says Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele.

    "I think you are going to see a wave, an unprecedented wave, on Election Day that is going to surprise a lot of people," Steele said.

    Democrats insist they are closing what they call the "enthusiasm gap" with Republicans by urging young and minority voters to turn out at the polls.

    All Signs Point to Republican Gains in Elections, Say Observers
    All Signs Point to Republican Gains in Elections, Say Observers

    But many political experts predict that Republicans will win back control of the House of Representatives, while falling just short of winning a majority in the Senate. Republicans need a gain of 39 seats to take the House and 10 seats to win back the Senate.

    University of Virginia political expert Larry Sabato publishes a weekly newsletter called The Crystal Ball.  Sabato believes that Republicans will win 55 House seats.  Several other analysts also predict Republican gains in the House of between 40 and 60 seats.   

    A new survey from The New York Times newspaper and CBS News finds that support for President Obama and the Democrats has slipped among some key voting groups that helped them win in 2008, including women, independent voters and less-affluent Americans.

    All Signs Point to Republican Gains in Elections, Say Observers
    All Signs Point to Republican Gains in Elections, Say Observers



    Karlyn Bowman at the American Enterprise Institute Washington monitors public opinion.

    "The polls show that Americans have lost much of the confidence that they had in the Democrats when the Democrats took control of the House and Senate in 2006." But Bowman adds, "Their confidence in the Republicans is not high."

    The public's poor view of the national economy remains the main source of trouble for Democrats this year, says Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, who was a recent guest on VOA's "Press Conference, USA" program.

    "Are things getting better or not?  And right now, they feel as if things are not getting better, certainly not rapidly enough to ease the economic gloom.  And that is why the president's ratings have declined and that is why the Democrats are in serious trouble," said Mann.

    Facing a difficult national political climate, Democrats are trying to focus voter attention on individual Republican candidates they say are too extreme, especially some endorsed by the grassroots conservative and libertarian Tea Party movement.

    Nathan Gonzalez monitors House and Senate races for The Rothenberg Political Report, a non-partisan political newsletter. "The fundamental battle in this election, I think, is about whether it is a referendum or a choice," said Gonzalez. "And Democrats are trying to localize elections all over the country."

    More than 30 states offer some form of early voting and millions of Americans have already cast their ballots.

    This year's campaigns have been some of the costliest ever.  Independent monitoring groups estimate that as much as $4 billion will be spent by candidates, parties and independent fundraising groups by the time the elections are over.   

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.