News / USA

Outcome of Republican Primaries Key for Control of Congress

Outcome of Republican Primaries Key for Control of Congressi
X
Kane Farabaugh
May 15, 2014 12:04 AM
Republicans in a number of U.S. states head to the polls in coming weeks to vote in primary elections to pick the party's candidate for November's midterm elections. The primaries in some of these states are seen as a test of the conservative Tea Party movement. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Bowling Green, Kentucky, waning enthusiasm for some of the Tea Party candidates could affect the outcome of these races.
Kane Farabaugh
Republicans in a number of U.S. states head to the polls in coming weeks to vote in primary elections to pick the party's candidate for November's midterm elections.  The primaries in some of these states are seen as a test of the conservative Tea Party movement, which has been influential in Republican party politics since scoring significant victories in the 2010 midterms.

In Kentucky, Senate Republican Minority leader Mitch McConnell faces a primary challenge from a Tea Party-backed candidate.   But, waning enthusiasm for some of the Tea Party candidates could affect the outcome of these races with party control of Congress next year hanging in the balance.

Conservative Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin has forged a well-traveled path throughout Kentucky in his bid for the U.S. Senate.  He says he hears the same concerns among voters across the state.

“They’re worried about the economy.  They are worried about their ability to maintain their own jobs, let alone their children and grandchildren," said Bevin.

Those are the concerns of Bowling Green, Kentucky voters such as Brian and Claudia Strow, who are looking for a candidate that can best bring job growth to Kentucky.

“Our unemployment rate is still much higher than the national average, it is 7.9 percent here in March.  People are looking around trying to ask what kind of government policies might be conducive to job creation," said Claudia Strow.

Bevin is popular among conservative Tea Party voters who were key to midterm election wins nationwide in 2010 that changed the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Their concerns:  what they see as government intrusion into their lives, especially President Obama's health care reform law.  

Republican Senate candidate in the Midwest state of Iowa, Matt Whitaker, says four years later, conservative voter outrage over President Obama's health care reform continues.  

Whitake: “It’s probably the number one issue on the minds of a lot of voters."
 
Reporter: "Why?"

Whitaker: "Just because.  It’s having a significant impact on people’s lives.”

But it might not be enough of an impact to draw out as many voters this midterm election cycle, says University of Kentucky Professor Al Cross.

“I think there is some fatigue among people who were all energized by the Tea Party," said Cross.

Such as in North Carolina, where the Republican establishment candidate recently defeated Tea Party rivals to win his party's Senate nomination.   

Yet it's a different story in Nebraska, where Tea Party backing helped Ben Sasse win the Republican Senate primary.  

But in Kentucky, despite Tea Party support, Matt Bevin trails incumbent Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell in polling, even though McConnell’s approval ratings are very low.

“McConnell, interestingly enough, had about the same job approval numbers as Obama, in one of the polls early in the race.  There’s just not a great reservoir of love for Mitch McConnell," said Cross.

If McConnell does win the primary, the race against his likely Democratic challenger in November's general election could be one of the toughest of McConnell’s career.

“It matters, because he is the leader of the Republicans, and he is the most vulnerable Republican incumbent by far," explained Cross.

It is a seat Cross says Republicans need to win in their national strategy to secure a majority in the U.S. Senate.  And this could hinge on whether Tea Party-backed candidates help or hinder Republicans in achieving this goal.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
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