News / USA

US Congressional Election Campaign Enters Final Week

Voters stand in line to cast their ballots during the early voting period at the Sun City Aliante Community Center , in Las Vegas, 25 Oct 2010
Voters stand in line to cast their ballots during the early voting period at the Sun City Aliante Community Center , in Las Vegas, 25 Oct 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Jim Malone's report on Congressional Campaigns 26 Oct 2010

TEXT SIZE - +

The battle for control of the U.S. Congress has entered its final week and both major political parties are engaged in a furious last-minute push for votes.



According to the opinion polls and political pundits, Republicans continue to have the upper hand heading into the final days of the 2010 congressional midterm election campaign.

Most Americans say the domestic economy is the number-one issue this year, and the public's dismal view of the economic climate is bound to hurt Democrats and help Republicans on Election Day, November 2.

Among those campaigning for Republican candidates is Ohio Congressman John Boehner, who is likely to become speaker of the House if Republicans win back a majority next week.

"If you are tired of the high unemployment, if you are tired of all the takeovers and bailouts, [then] that is what elections are for," he said.

Polls also give Republicans an edge in voter enthusiasm, though there are signs that lethargic Democrats may be waking up in the final days of the campaign.

Much of that Republican intensity is being driven by the Tea Party movement, a loose coalition of conservative and libertarian-leaning groups around the country that is demanding spending and tax cuts and a smaller role for the central government generally.

"We are angry," noted a Tea Party member at a recent rally in Massachusetts.  "I do not have to ask people to join the Tea Party.  I just say, hey, I am in the Tea Party, what can I do?"

In recent days there are signs that some key Senate races may be tightening, giving hope to beleaguered Democrats who fear the possibility of losing control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to Republicans.

Republicans need a gain of 39 seats to win back control of the House and a pickup of 10 seats to regain a majority in the Senate.

Richard Wolffe is a political analyst for MSNBC television and a guest on VOA's Issues in the News program.

"But it is a very closely fought election, in spite of what the predictions are," said Wolffe.  "You look at the polls here and you look at state by state and district by district, pretty much all the important races are within the margin of error."

Democrats are well aware that they will do poorly if voters see the election merely as a referendum on the party in power, given the weak national economy.

So as he campaigns for Democratic candidates around the country, President Barack Obama is urging voters to see the election as a choice between going backward and moving ahead.

"Their whole campaign strategy is amnesia," said President Obama.  "And so you need to remember that this election is a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and the policies that are leading out of this mess."

Despite the polls that show some of the key Senate races tightening in recent days, the overall polling picture looks much better for Republicans than Democrats.

"All polls show that the public remains deeply dissatisfied with the president, with the Congress, with the parties and with the way things are going in the country today," said Karlyn Bowman who monitors public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

But Bowman is quick to point out that Republicans are likely to do well in next Tuesday's election despite the fact that many voters view them even more negatively than Democrats.

"Democrats understand that voters are upset and they are likely to vote against them because of the direction of the country.  But Democrats are trying to make this a choice between Democrats and Republicans because Democrats are not popular, but Republicans are not popular either," says Nathan Gonzales, the political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, a non-partisan newsletter in Washington.  He was a guest on VOA's Encounter program.

Campaign monitoring groups say this could be the most expensive U.S. midterm election ever, and they estimate that $2 billion could be spent by the end of the campaign next week.  That is due in part to a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that changed campaign finance laws and allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on independent television ads calling for the election or defeat of specific candidates.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid