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

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs