News / USA

High Unemployment Could Hurt Democrats in Midterm Vote

Unemployed people use computers to search for jobs and telephones to seek out unemployment insurance benefits at the Nevada JobConnect Career Center, 1 Sept. 2010, Las Vegas.
Unemployed people use computers to search for jobs and telephones to seek out unemployment insurance benefits at the Nevada JobConnect Career Center, 1 Sept. 2010, Las Vegas.

The final -- and gloomy - jobs report released by the U.S. Labor Department released ahead of November's midterm elections showed the unemployment rate remained at a stubborn 9.6 percent.  This report is seen as a key indicator of the health of the U.S. economy, which political analysts say that is not good news for President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress as November 2, Election Day, approaches.

The economy and high unemployment rate are the top issues in this year's election campaign, and President Obama has said his administration remains focused on job creation as a high priority.

"Putting the American people back to work, expanding opportunity, rebuilding the economic security of the middle class is the moral and national challenge of our time," said the president.  

Republicans were quick to react to the September job figures as well.  House Republican leader John Boehner issued a statement that called the report disappointing and left millions of Americans asking, where are the jobs?

Public opinion polls give Republicans an advantage heading into the midterm elections and political analysts are predicting Republican gains in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  It's the state of the economy that is driving voters away from the Democrats and toward the Republicans, says political expert Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution.

"The unemployment, the underemployment, the sort of stagnant income, the declining income for some families.  All of that has created a great sense that nothing is working in this country.  People are very bleak about the state of the economy," Mann says.

Public approval ratings for President Obama and for Democrats in general have been slipping for months now, and, somewhat surprisingly, approval ratings for Republicans in Congress tend to be even worse.  But voters appear poised to hold the Democrats responsible for the sluggish economy on November 2, says Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown.

"And until the unemployment rate gets markedly better, it is unlikely that voters will be any more optimistic about the economy, and therefore that will probably not be good for President Obama," Brown says.

The state of the economy always has a significant impact on national elections, and this year Republicans appear to be benefiting from voter concerns that the U.S. economy is still trying to recover from a recession. The weak economic outlook has shaped a public mindset that took hold months ago, says Republican pollster and political strategist Ed Goeas.

"We know as political pollsters that it basically takes six solid months of good economic news for the economic mentality of the American populace to turn from a recession mentality to a growth mentality," Goeas says. "This election cycle will be run as a recession-attitude, recession-mentality [election] in terms of the voters who are out there."

Republicans charge that the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan, the bank bailout and the health care reform law have all held back economic recovery.  Democrats fire back that a Republican takeover of Congress in November would bring a return to the economic policies of former President George W. Bush, who they say was responsible for the economic downturn to begin with.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.

All About America

AppleAndroid