News / USA

Obama Likely to be Main Issue in Midterm Elections

Crowds gathered in Searchlight, Nevada to advocate for lower taxes and smaller government (file photo)
Crowds gathered in Searchlight, Nevada to advocate for lower taxes and smaller government (file photo)

Political experts say 2010 could be a difficult year for President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party allies in Congress.  Most analysts predict that Republicans will make gains in this year's midterm congressional elections.  And they say the president's popularity and his health care reform plan will be major issues in the campaign.

At the recent monthly meeting of the Red Rock Democratic Club on the outskirts of Las Vegas, local party members expressed concerns about President Obama's declining popularity and its possible impact on the November elections.

"Popularity is down.  It is down throughout the country and it is down here in Nevada," said Democrat John Punticello.

Others, like Tracy Lawrence, see good news for Democrats in the wake of the successful battle in Congress for health care reform. "Although the health care reform isn't everything we wanted, it is a step.  And I think his popularity is going to start to bounce back, I do, because he finally got it through.  And I don't think a lot of people thought he could at this point," he said.

Local liberal talk show host Sir Cooper is trying to stir Democrats out of the doldrums on his radio show.  He is urging Democrats to get tougher as the election draws near. "They are not as forceful as I would like them to be.  See, when the Republicans want something, they go after it.  They don't care if they have to run over their mother, their sister or the little kid to get to it.  They will go from Point A to Point B to accomplish their goal," he said.

It was a different scene across town a few days later as Republicans gathered at a country-western bar to listen to conservative talk show host Roger Hedgecock.

Among those who came was Republican Sharron Angle.  She hopes to win a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada and intends to make President Obama the key issue. "Everything that Mr. Obama has done since he got into the presidency has really been detrimental for small businesses, for the working man, for anyone in America who wants their constitutional government back," he said.

Angle is one of several Republicans hoping to win a June primary to challenge Senator Harry Reid in November.  Reid is the Senate Democratic leader who played a key role in passing President Obama's health care reform law.

Reid is trailing in public opinion polls in Nevada.  But he said little about his race at a recent Democratic dinner in Las Vegas. "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't realize that I am not there for any reason other than I have a contract with the people of the state of Nevada.  And I have chosen to try to renew that contract and I will need your help to do that," he said.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, is also running for re-election this year.  She says voters will be looking to candidates from both parties for help in coping with a weak economy. "You know, we have a high unemployment rate; we have the highest foreclosure rate.  Those are issues that are serious for everyone and they want answers.  They want people who are going to come out and talk to them about how they are going to address those issues, how they are going to create jobs," he said.

Surveys in Nevada show Reid trailing several possible Republican challengers.  But Cortez-Masto and other Democrats say they would never count Harry Reid out this early in the race, noting he has won several tough election battles in the past.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs