News / USA

Obama Has Major Stake in 2014 US Elections

Obama Has Major Stake in 2014 US Electionsi
X
December 18, 2013 9:00 PM
U.S. voters head to the polls next November for congressional midterm elections with enormous political stakes for President Barack Obama. All 435 seats in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be at stake along with 33 of the 100 seats in the Democratically-controlled Senate. President Obama has seen a major dip in his public approval rating of late and if that continues, it could be a major factor in the November elections. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
U.S. voters head to the polls next November for congressional midterm elections with enormous political stakes for President Barack Obama.  All 435 seats in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be at stake along with 33 of the 100 seats in the Democratically-controlled Senate.  Obama has seen a major dip in his public approval rating of late and if that continues, it could be a major factor in the November elections. 

House Speaker John Boehner and his fellow Republicans hope to gain congressional seats in November by focusing on the troubled rollout of Obama’s health care law.

“Why did the president mislead the American people when he promised they could keep their health care plan?  Why is Obamacare forcing Americans to lose access to the doctors they like,” said Boehner.

Democrats insist public support for the law will increase over time.  But even Obama acknowledges that Democrats are paying a political price in the short term.

“There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA [Affordable Care Act] smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin,” he said.

The president’s party often lost seats in the second term midterm election and the fate of the health care law would have a major impact on the elections, said analyst John Fortier.

“And I think the uncertainty of what will happen between now and the midterm election is really the biggest factor, uncertainty for the American people, but also for a lot of Democrats who are nervously eyeing the elections themselves and wondering how they are going to be affected,” he said.

Public attitudes toward Congress were dismal in the wake of the government shutdown in October, said Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown.

“The American people are frustrated," he said. "They see what is going on in Washington and scratch their heads and say, ‘Can’t these guys make anything happen?’”

Lawmakers with Tea Party support got much of the blame for the shutdown, and that has sparked a new battle within the Republican Party, said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

“Many mainstream Republicans are now pointing the finger at the Tea Party as well, not just Democrats," he said. "The Tea Party is on to the right issues.  The question is: are they going to change their tactics and their messaging?”

House Speaker Boehner recently lashed out at conservative groups that oppose compromise.

“I think they are misleading their followers.  I think they are pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be and frankly I just think that they have lost all credibility,” he said.

Democrats won control of the House in 2006 but Republicans won it back in 2010.  No major tide for either party was expected this year, said analyst Rhodes Cook.

“I don’t think we are going to have any big wave election like that in part because we had it, you know, in 2010.  Those seats that were ready to topple have toppled," he said. "We are down basically to seats that are on pretty firm ground for the Republicans.”
.
Republicans are favored to hold their majority in the House and the real battle will be for control of the now-Democratically-held Senate.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs