News / USA

Republicans Expect Gains In US November Election

In U.S. politics, opposition Republicans remain confident as they look ahead to November's midterm congressional elections, expecting that they will gain seats at the expense of Democrats.  But most political experts remain unsure about whether Republicans will gain enough seats to retake control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, or both.

Public opinion polls suggest Americans are in a volatile mood these days, and opposition Republicans believe that will carry them to victory in midterm congressional elections in November.

House Republicans launched a new initiative this week called America Speaking Out, an effort to tap into voter unrest around the country and shape a Republican political agenda for the coming campaign.

"All across America, Americans are speaking out.  Unfortunately, they don't see Washington Democrats listening.  When you look at all the taxes, all the spending and all the debt, it is clear that Washington has been doing what Washington thinks is best, not what's best for America," said Congressman John Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader.

Republicans are increasingly confident this year because approval ratings for the Democratic-led Congress are dismal, and because President Barack Obama's poll ratings have also slipped down to around 50 percent in most surveys.

Republicans also have history on their side this election year.  The party that controls the White House traditionally loses seats in a new president's first midterm election.

"The first congressional elections after a presidential race are essentially a referendum on the president.  The voters don't have any way to vote for or against the president, so they essentially, to simply things, they express their sentiment about the president in their votes for Congress," said David Hawkings, managing editor of Congressional Quarterly Weekly.

Polls show many Americans are concerned that the government is spending too much and increasing the national debt.  That has also become a rallying cry for members of the so-called Tea Party movement, grassroots conservatives who have become active around the country.

Tea Party supporters have rallied to conservative Republican candidates in numerous primary races including the recent Republican primary for Senate in Kentucky, won by Tea Party favorite Rand Paul.

Paul is the son of former presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and like his father, Rand Paul is a strong advocate of limiting the power of the central government. "People don't like the arrogance, the arrogance of officialdom, the arrogance of power," Rand Paul said.

Paul quickly created controversy after his primary win by questioning an important civil rights law from the 1960's and by seeming to come to the defense of the oil company BP in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Paul subsequently backed away from his criticism of the civil rights laws, but analysts said his comments reflected some of the political risks associated with the Tea Party movement.

Democrats are well-aware that 2010 is shaping up as a difficult political year, but remain determined to limit their losses in November.

Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine says President Obama will play a key role in this year's election campaign in convincing voters that his administration and Democrats in Congress have achieved success, especially on the economy and passage of the health care reform law.

"In the face of near-united Republican opposition, the president and Democrats have taken bold action to turn the economy around, lay a foundation for long term prosperity and provide greater choices and opportunities for the American people.  But there is still a lot to be done and the president can't do it alone," Kane said.

But the health care law remains politically polarizing, and its critics regard it as the latest example of big-government overreach in Washington.

"We live in strange times.  This is a mood, a public mood of anger about all institutions, whether it is Wall Street or political parties or Washington in general, people are not happy and they don't like establishment figures," said Richard Wolffe, a political analyst for MSNBC television and frequent guest on VOA's Issues in the News program.

Hawkings predicts an intense congressional election campaign later this year, but he says Republicans continue to have the upper hand. "The Democrats are going to see some setbacks.  The only question is whether those setbacks will be so deep that the House of Representatives will turn to a Republican majority and maybe even the Senate as well.  But that is a much longer shot," he said.

Republicans need a gain of 40 seats to win back a majority in the House and ten seats to retake control of the Senate.  They lost control of both chambers in the 2006 congressional midterm elections.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs