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

Multimedia In US, Decision Expected Soon in Racially Charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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 Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid