Voters Keep Status Quo in Congress

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., speaks to the crowd at the Republican Party of Virginia post-election event at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia, Nov. 6, 2012.
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., speaks to the crowd at the Republican Party of Virginia post-election event at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia, Nov. 6, 2012.
VOA News
No matter who is elected the next president of the United States, he may have a tough time getting his agenda through Congress.

Projections Tuesday show Republicans will hold onto control of the House of Representatives while Democrats will stay in charge of the Senate.

Democrats made key inroads in the Senate, defeating the Republican incumbent in Massachusetts (Senator Scott Brown losing to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren), winning the swing state of Virginia, where former Republican governor George Allen conceded to former governor Tim Kaine and holding on in the battleground state of Ohio, where Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown held off a challenge from Republican Josh Mandel.

Democrats also picked up a seat in Indiana, where Representative Joe Donnelly defeated Republican Richard Mourdock.  The contest drew national attention after Mourdock made controversial remarks about rape and abortion. Another Republican candidate who made similarly controversial remarks also lost in Missouri (Representative Todd Akin losing to incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill).

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. thanks supporters at a re-election party in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. On his left, is wife Grace Nelson.U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. thanks supporters at a re-election party in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. On his left, is wife Grace Nelson.
x
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. thanks supporters at a re-election party in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. On his left, is wife Grace Nelson.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. thanks supporters at a re-election party in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. On his left, is wife Grace Nelson.
Projections also have the Democrats holding onto Florida, where incumbent Bill Nelson defeated Republican Connie Mack and Pennsylvania, while the Republicans lost a seat in Maine to Independent candidate Angus King.

Thirty-three seats in the 100-seat Senate were up for election. Republicans need to gain four seats to take control.

Projections also indicate little will change in the House, with Republicans maintaining their majority as voters in many states re-elected incumbents from both parties.  That means Republican Representative John Boehner from the battleground state of Ohio will likely retain his post as House Speaker.

In a statement late Tuesday night, Boehner said Republicans were "humbled" to have been chosen by voters to lead the House and that they would continue to oppose any calls to raise taxes.  But he also offered to work with any willing partner in the White House.

All 435 House seats were up for grabs and Democrats would have needed to gain 25 seats to take control.

A number of polls have shown many Americans have been frustrated by what they see as rampant politicking and animosity on the part of lawmakers, seeing little improvement in their day-to-day lives.  But their views of lawmakers appeared to improve in the weeks preceding Tuesday's election.

A poll by the Gallup Organization released October 24 found 21 percent of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing, up from 13 percent in September.  It was also the highest rating for lawmakers since May 2011.

Gallup says that, going back to 1974, the average job approval rating in Congress has been about 34 percent.  Gallup also says most voters think more highly of their own representatives than they do of other members of Congress.

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