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

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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More