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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid