News / USA

Midterm Candidates Make Final Push To Win Over Skeptical Voters

Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell talks to supporters before the start of a campaign rally, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, in Dover, Del.
Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell talks to supporters before the start of a campaign rally, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, in Dover, Del.
Cindy Saine

Republican and Democratic candidates are making a final push to win over voters ahead of midterm congressional and gubernatorial elections on Tuesday.  

Political experts and public opinion surveys widely agree that Republicans are posed to win back majority control of the House of Representatives on November 2.  

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia publishes a weekly newsletter called "The Crystal Ball", in which he predicts the outcome of individual races.  Sabato said despite the close to four billion dollars that has been spent on hard-hitting political ads and campaigns by all candidates across the country, his predictions have hardly changed over the last couple of months.  

Sabato is predicting that Republicans will win 55 House seats, and they only need 39 to take back majority control. "So, in fact, this is an election that was over in the summer because of the bad economy and the low job approval for President Obama. There are fundamental basics in politics that drive elections and these were obvious by August. We were the first to declare the House for the Republicans, but by now almost every non-partisan ratings agency has done so," he said.

Sabato and other experts are predicting that the Senate will remain under Democratic majority control - but just barely.  David Hawkings is Managing Editor of Congressional Quarterly weekly magazine. "The Republicans who need a gain of ten seats to take  back the Senate would essentially have to win all ten of the ones where they are competitive.  And that hardly ever happens, even in a big wave year like this.  There seems to be, almost inevitably, one of their candidates will falter in the closing days," he said.

Hawkings said that usually when one chamber of Congress changes hands from one party to the other, the other chamber does also.  He said you have to go back 30 years, when Ronald Reagan was swept into the White House by a huge wave of support. "The last time it would have happened in 1980.  Way back in 1980 it was the Senate that went Republican, but the House stayed Democratic," he said.

Opinion surveys reveal an exceptionally volatile political climate, where voters in many races are willing to take a risk on a political newcomer to throw the incumbent out of office.  Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women's Forum research institute said a recent survey of independent voters showed a high level of disdain for both major political parties.

"This is a beauty contest where all the contestants are ugly.  They don't like the Democrats, they don't like the Republicans, they happen to be leaning Republican right now, not as a vote for Republicans, but as a vote against Democrats.  And I think that is what is going to be very telling about the November election," she said.

Much attention is focused on the Senate race in Nevada, where veteran Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is locked in a close race with Republican challenger Sharron Angle.  Angle is a favorite of Tea Party Republicans, who favor a very limited role for government, a strong military and low taxes.  Angle has served in the Nevada's state assembly, but lost a race for the U.S. House.  She has largely avoided reporters on the campaign trail, giving interviews only to conservative or Christian networks sympathetic to her, and has alarmed some by calling for social security benefits for retired Americans to be privatized.  

Analyst Larry Sabato said Tea Party-backed candidates tend to hold positions far to the right of most Americans. "And I think some of the Tea Party members in Congress, particularly the Senate, since they have almost unlimited access to the floor,  may well embarass the Republicans from time to time if this campaign season is any indication," he said.

Experts say traditional Republicans in Congress may clash with their Tea Party Republican newcomers, but Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell says dealing with a bigger group of Republicans in Congress is a problem he is happy to have.

President Barack Obama has been out in full force campaigning for Democratic candidates over the past couple of weeks in an effort to boost support for his party.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid