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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid