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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.