Control of US Senate Up for Grabs

    Michael Bowman
    Next month, Americans will elect a president and a new Congress. The political make-up of Congress will help determine whether the next president can enact his agenda in the next four years.

    Republicans are expected to retain their House majority, but control of the Senate, where Democrats currently have a majority, is in question. Some of the pivotal contests include a hard-fought Senate race in the state of Virginia.

    Republican George Allen is scouring Virginia for votes, including the state’s Asian-American community. His core message: boosting the economy.

    “I just want to make sure that every American, regardless of background or ethnicity or religious persuasion, has that equal opportunity to succeed. That is the promise of America,” said Allen.

    Economy, Jobs are central focus

    Democratic rival Tim Kaine sounds a similar theme at a Jewish community center.

    “I am a huge believer in ‘win the talent race, win the economic race.’ Education, workforce development and immigration reform are the core of winning the talent race,” said Kaine.

    Both former Virginia governors, Allen and Kaine are competing to fill the seat of retiring Senator Jim Webb, who beat Allen in 2006. The focus of this year’s senate contest mirrors the presidential race, according to political analyst Phil Wallach.

    “Nationally and in Virginia, it is jobs, jobs, jobs. All the candidates want to say that their party has a recipe for bringing back jobs,” said Wallach.

    One third of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are being contested. Republicans need to gain four to take control.

    Once confident of victory, Republican candidates like Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana have hurt their own chances by making widely-criticized comments on rape and abortion.

    Some Democrats, meanwhile, have run stronger-than-expected campaigns. In Massachusetts, polls currently favor Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren over Republican Senator Scott Brown.

    In Virginia, polls show an even race between Kaine and Allen.

    “It is clearly going to be an election that comes down to the wire,” said Wallach.

    Virginia Republicans like retired military officer William Hoffat said they are energized.

    “The values of George Allen and the values of Mitt Romney echo with immigrant Americans: hard work and making it in this country,” said Hoffat.

    Kaine supporter Sheila Levine said President Barack Obama, if re-elected, will need Democrats to work with in Congress.

    “We are so polarized right now, and maybe if we can get some more Democrats in Congress, maybe Obama can get something done,” said Levine.

    Kaine is pledging to work with members of both parties, to find common ground he has said is missing in Washington. Allen said this race could well decide the balance of power in the Senate.

    “However goes Virginia, will go America and our future,” said Allen.

    Indeed, voters in this one state could have a major impact on the nation’s political direction for years to come.
    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora