News / USA

US Election Campaign Heats Up

Senator Blanche Lincoln (l) and former President Bill Clinton at a Democratic political rally in Jonesboro, Arkansas, 13 Oct 2010
Senator Blanche Lincoln (l) and former President Bill Clinton at a Democratic political rally in Jonesboro, Arkansas, 13 Oct 2010

Campaign activity is intensifying in the United States with a little more than two weeks to go until the November 2 midterm congressional elections.  Opposition Republicans expect to make gains in the election, but Democrats say some of the key races across the country have tightened up in recent days.

In the final weeks of the campaign, voters are beginning to focus on the midterm elections.  That could be good news for Democrats because until now conservative Republicans have been the most energized group looking ahead to the voting on November 2.

Candidate debates are being held across the country including Delaware where Republican Christine O'Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons are battling for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

O'DONNELL:  "My opponent has recently said that it was studying under a Marxist professor that made him become a Democrat."

COONS:  "I am not now nor have I ever been anything but a clean-shaven capitalist."

Political experts say the poor economy and public disenchantment with President Barack Obama and the Democrats give Republicans a huge advantage in this year's election.  Many analysts now predict the Republicans will gain the 39 seats they need to win back a majority in the 435-member House of Representatives.  Experts say Republicans are less likely to gain the ten seats they need to reclaim control of the Senate, but they add it is still possible.  Republicans lost control of both chambers to Democrats in 2006.

In the final weeks of the campaign, President Obama is mounting a furious effort to rally core Democratic voters, especially younger voters and minorities who came out in huge numbers and supported him two years ago.

"We are moving in the right direction and the question is going to be whether, once again, hope overcomes fear," said President Obama.

First Lady Michelle Obama is also hitting the campaign trail, as is former President Bill Clinton, who remains one of the most popular Democrats in public opinion polls.

"This should not be a close race," said Bill Clinton. "If it were not for this economic climate, it might not be."

Republicans are using some star power of their own including former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

"These elections are the most important of our generation," said Sarah Palin. "Real America is at a tipping point and a lot of people are saying that we are at a breaking point.  We have got to change directions."

Democrats face some daunting challenges in trying to hold their congressional majorities.  Polls show that the public has a dismal view of the economy, especially the high unemployment rate.

In addition, Democrats are battling a historical trend, says American University presidential expert Allan Lichtman, a guest on VOA's Press Conference USA program.

"Democrats may hold onto the Senate but I think they are going to take a big pasting [defeat] in this election," said Allan Lichtman. "It is not surprising.  First of all, with three exceptions since the Civil War, the party holding the White House, which is today Barack Obama's Democrats, has always suffered losses in midterm elections."

Democrats gained dozens of congressional seats in the elections of 2006 and 2008.  But now many of those Democrats who won in moderate or conservative congressional districts are vulnerable this year because conservative voters are energized and support for the president and his policies has dropped.

Thomas Mann is with the Brookings Institution in Washington:

"They are really above their natural strength," he said. "They are holding congressional districts that have traditionally voted Republican in presidential campaigns. So they are vulnerable.  They have to defend a large number of seats with conservative Republican constituencies."

All 435 House seats will be contested on November 2, along with 37 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats and 37 of the 50 state governorships.  

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid