News / USA

Parties in US Election Reach Out to Voting Groups

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama muster support for Democratic candidates during a rally at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, 17 Oct 2010
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama muster support for Democratic candidates during a rally at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, 17 Oct 2010

In the United States, election activity is intensifying in the final days of the midterm congressional election campaign.  Both major political parties are reaching out to key voting groups as the November 2 balloting draws near, hoping to motivate core constituencies to go to the polls on Election Day.  

Public opinion polls give opposition Republicans a big advantage heading in the midterm election.  For months now, surveys have shown that Republican voters, especially conservatives, are energized about this year's election and intend to turn out in droves.

With that in mind, President Barack Obama and other top Democrats are engaged in a furious last-minute effort to motivate the same key Democratic voting blocs that played such an important role in Mr. Obama's presidential election victory two years ago.

"Just like you did in 2008, you can defy the conventional wisdom.  Yes you can!  Yes you can!" The president said.

The latest polls suggest a number of Senate races are tightening in the final days of the campaign, offering some encouragement to Democrats.  Most analysts expect large Republican gains in the House of Representatives, and many are already predicting that Republicans will gain the additional 39 seats they need to retake control of the House.

Republicans need to gain ten seats to win back a majority in the Senate, but most analysts believe that will be tougher to achieve than winning a majority in the House.

Both major political parties rely on strong support from core constituency groups that tend to be loyal to one party or the other from one election cycle to the next.

Mike O'Brien covers politics for The Hill newspaper in Washington.  He says Democrats are focused on getting the same key voter groups who played a role in Mr. Obama's victory two years go to turn out in November as well.

"Those would be young voters, first time voters, who turned out in 2008.  Women voters, people from minority communities and that sort of thing.  Those voters really turned out in a large capacity in 2008.  It was unprecedented," said O'Brian.

Women voters are of particular importance to Democrats in this election.  They make up a majority of the population and historically favor Democratic candidates.  But this year is different, says Andy Barr with the web site Politico.

"Moderate women are very much up for grabs," said Barr.  "They voted heavily for Barack Obama in the last cycle and that turned out in the Democrats' favor.  Now polls are showing that they are trending towards Republicans, and so Democrats are doing everything they can to try to appeal to moderate women."

Republicans are counting on a strong turnout from white voters, men and older voters to carry them to victory on November 2.

Those groups have been especially drawn to the Tea Party movement this year, a loosely-organized coalition of grass roots conservative and libertarian groups committed to smaller government and lower taxes.

Republican U.S.Senate candidate Marco Rubio greets a supporter at an early voting location in Miami, 20 Oct 2010
Republican U.S.Senate candidate Marco Rubio greets a supporter at an early voting location in Miami, 20 Oct 2010

Marco Rubio is the Republican candidate running for a U.S. Senate seat in Florida.  He is also a favorite of Tea Party activists nationally.

"We are on the verge of being the first generation of Americans to leave the next generation of Americans worse off," said Rubio.

Andy Barr of Politico says white males and elderly voters are among the most energized voting blocs this year, and they appear poised to support Republican candidates in large numbers around the country.

"Before, a significant amount went to Barack Obama.  But we are seeing extremely high numbers among white males and the elderly voting for Republicans," he said.

Most analysts believe that the number one factor in this year's election is the public's negative view of the U.S. economy, and the high unemployment rate.

John Fortier is an expert with the American Enterprise Institute and a guest on VOA's Encounter program.

"Well I think much of the election is already set.  We have a mood in America that has already turned against Democrats and is likely to put a lot of Republicans into office," he said.  "The economy is quite bad and midterm elections tend to go against the party in power and the party in the White House."

In addition to the congressional races this year, 37 of the 50 states are holding elections for state governor.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid