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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid