News / USA

Republicans Expect Gains In US November Election

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid