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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid