News / USA

2014 Looks Like a Republican Year

Washington, D.C., is struggling to emerge from the throes of a difficult winter. And when the warm breezes of spring finally begin to take hold, the wind direction is likely to favor Republicans. Looking ahead to U.S. congressional elections in November, Republicans increasingly are confident they will make gains, especially in the Democratically-controlled Senate, and a growing consensus among experts is that 2014 is shaping up as a good year for Republicans and a difficult year for Democrats.

Lawmakers from both political parties and the White House are intently focused on the November midterm elections, when all 435 members of the House of Representatives are at stake, along with 36 of the 100 Senate seats. At the moment most political analysts say it is very likely that Republicans will hold or add to their majority in the House and have an excellent chance of gaining the six additional seats they need to win a majority in the Senate, now controlled by Democrats.

Adding to the Republican advantage is that several Democrats are either retiring or face tough races in Republican leaning states, according to John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The Senate Republicans have a real opportunity to pick up seats, but they need six seats, which is a lot. The good news for Republicans is that many of these states are in very strongly Republican states.”

Fortier also noted that President Barack Obama’s low approval ratings in public opinion polls could help Republicans in November. “The two biggest factors underlying a midterm election are how is the economy doing, and how is the president in the White House doing. And ultimately midterm elections don’t go very well for the president’s party, they tend to go against it. And if the economy is worse, it’s even worse. And if the president’s unpopular, it’s even worse.”

Health Care Politics

Another major factor in this year’s election campaign will be the public’s view of the president’s health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act.  Republicans plan to highlight their opposition to the law as a major campaign theme, including House Speaker John Boehner. “The truth is you can’t fix this law. It needs to be torn out by its roots. You may be tired of hearing about this, but as long as this law is around and making things worse, we are going to keep fighting it.”

Obama is quick to defend the law in speeches around the country, and he accuses Republicans of having no interest in trying to fix problems with the act.  “And it is not just to try to improve the law or here is a particular problem with it.  No, we just want to scrap it so that millions of people who now have health insurance, we want them to go back to not having health insurance. Well that is not going to happen.” The president also has been warning Democrats that they need to vote in November, noting that Republicans often do better in midterm elections because fewer voters overall turn up at the polls.

Carroll Doherty of the Pew Research Center said recent polling does not detect a huge Republican surge at the moment.  He said, though, that the voters who turn out for midterm congressional elections, as opposed to presidential elections, tend to be older and whiter than the rest of the electorate, and that should benefit Republicans this November. “What it is showing is that there is no wave election for the Republicans or the Democrats at this point. It looks pretty even, which means the [voter] turnout is going to be the big factor, and Republicans in midterms do pretty well in turnout.”

A Republican takeover of the Senate would set the stage for more legislative gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency, said longtime political analyst Tom DeFrank of the National Journal. DeFrank told VOA’s Issues in the News program that the president may need to have his veto pen at the ready if Republicans wind up controlling both chambers of Congress.  “If he loses the Senate in November he will be reduced to governing by veto, denying the Republicans what they want to do.  I think it is gridlock and damage control the rest of the way.”

Republicans last controlled both houses of Congress during the administration of President George W. Bush. They lost control of both chambers to Democrats following the 2006 congressional midterm elections, a wave election that presaged Obama’s election two years later. Republicans experienced their own wave election in 2010 when whey they retook control of the House.

Even if Republicans do win enough seats to win a majority of the Senate this November, it’s possible their success will be short-lived. Two years from now in 2016 there will be 33 Senate seats up for election. Republicans control 23 of seats and Democrats 10, and several of the Republican Senate seats are in Democratic-leaning states like Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. That should give an advantage to Democrats for the 2016 cycle. For the moment, however, they are much more worried about their Senate hopes this year.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cranksy from: USA
March 24, 2014 11:24 PM
Mr. Malone, please fact check this: DuPage County, the most Republican county in Illinois, during the primary election of March 18th had a record low turnout. That happen when there were four contestants in their race for Governor.

by: joe Lyman from: pa
March 24, 2014 2:31 PM
The problem is the red coats think this is high school !

The republicans are despicable. Will never vote for them ever again. This article is way offf. Just the opposite will hapen.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More