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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs