News / USA

Obama's Weak Poll Ratings Worry Democrats

Obama's Weak Poll Ratings Worry Democratsi
X
July 16, 2014 5:17 PM
2014 is a congressional election year in the United States, but many Democratic candidates appear determined to keep some political distance between themselves and President Barack Obama. Obama’s public approval rating is stuck at around 40 percent and that could hurt Democratic hopes to hold their majority in the Senate. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

VIDEO: In this congressional election year, many Democratic candidates appear determined to keep some political distance between themselves and President Barack Obama. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

In this U.S. congressional election year, it’s already clear that many Democratic candidates are determined to keep some political distance between themselves and President Barack Obama.

Obama’s public approval rating is stuck at around 40 percent, and many Democrats worry that could undermine their hopes to hold their majority in the Senate this year and prevent losses in the House of Representatives.

The president’s challenges abroad have grown in recent days, including violence in the Mideast and Iraq and an immigration crisis along the southern U.S. border.

But even as the immigration crisis dominates domestic headlines, the president has been squarely focused on the economy and trying to circumvent Republican attempts to block his agenda in Congress.

During a recent visit to Texas, Obama repeated his vow that he will take action where he can to break Washington’s political gridlock.  

“Whenever and wherever I have the power, the legal authority to help families like yours, even if Congress is not doing anything, I will take that opportunity.  I will try to make something happen," he said.

The president has also been dismissive of House Republican plans to sue him in federal court over his use of executive authority on a range of issues.  

“You hear some of them: 'Sue him!  Impeach him,' he said.  "Really?  Really?  For what?  You are going to sue me for doing my job?”

On the immigration issue, Republicans blame the president for not doing more to secure the southern U.S. border, including House Speaker John Boehner.  

“This is a problem of the president’s own making!  He’s been president for five-and-one-half years," he said. "When is he going to take responsibility for something?”

The president is also getting pressure from his political left and liberal Democrats like Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois who want to ensure that young migrants from Central America are protected.

“I plan to support the president’s budget request, but we must make sure we do not short-circuit justice for the children," he said.

But the overarching problem for Democrats at the moment is the president’s poor poll ratings.  Historically, weak poll numbers for the president in a congressional election year spell trouble for the president’s party, says political analyst Charlie Cook.

“Whenever you have a president and a midterm election where the president’s approval rating is well below 50 percent and whose disapproval ratings are above 50 percent, at or above 50 percent, it is a problem,” he said.

Republicans currently hold a majority in the House and need a gain of six seats to seize a majority in the Senate.  Republican control of both chambers in the president’s final two years in office would be a huge political obstacle for Obama. 

Political analyst John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington says Republicans appear to be well on their way to making that happen.  

“They need six seats to take to make the majority, but they’ve got a good shot, at least a 50-50 shot, of taking the Senate and probably even gaining a few seats in the House,” he said.

Obama’s second term blues are in keeping with recent history, says Charlie Cook, noting recent setbacks for two-term presidents like George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.  

“You get into years six, seven and eight and they kind of run out of gas and bad things typically happen,” he said.

Obama seems determined to turn that around as he keeps up an energetic schedule of speeches around the country aimed at energizing Democrats for the midterm election.  But even as the president slips into early campaign mode, it remains to be seen how many Democrats will welcome his help between now and November.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid