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

Key Al-Shabab Commander Captured

Zakariye Ismail Hersi was captured in a raid Saturday morning in the town of El Wak near the border with Kenya More

Relations Between Pakistan, Afghanistan Key to Fighting Taliban

A Pakistani official tells VOA that anti-terrorism campaign has resulted in improved counter-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan More

160,000 Displaced by Flooding in Malaysia

Prime Minister Najib Razak visits hard-hit Kelantan state, announces nearly $145M in additional relief for victims More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid