Midterm Elections 2010

Midterm Elections 2010
Midterm Elections 2010

Related Articles

US President Barack Obama speaks at a rally for Democratic Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts, October 16, 2010. Jason Joseph (C) holds campaign signs during a get out the vote rally put on by local unions and Democratic politicians on the grounds of the Jackson Memorial hospital on October 18, 2010 in Miami, Florida. People cast their votes at a polling station set up at the Miami-Dade Government Center on October 18, 2010 in Miami, Florida. A man takes a picture from the top of a bus at a sparsely attended rally for the Tea Party Express national tour which kicked off yesterday with a rally in Reno on October 19, 2010 in Ely, Nevada. Politician and conservative activist Sarah Palin prepares to speak at the launch for the Tea Party Express national tour which is kicking off with a rally in Reno on October 18, 2010 in Reno, Nevada.
All photos: AFP
The balance of power tipped towards the Republican Party in Tuesday's key midterm elections in the United States, as voters sent a message of discontent to the Congress and President Barack Obama.  Republicans wrested control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats, but stopped short of capturing the Senate.  

Americans also cast ballots for governors, state lawmakers and other local officials, including mayors.  There were also many local initiatives in states across the country covering taxes, government spending and social issues that were decided on Election Day: one of the most high profile - whether or not to legalize marijuana - was rejected in the state of California.

Some Senate and gubernatorial races remained undecided long after polls closed Tuesday evening.  But the overall message that analysts had predicted heading into the elections was clear: many Americans are frustrated just two years after the historic election of the nation's first African-American president.  Much of that discontent has been driven by a stagnant economy and a persistently high unemployment rate.

Midterms: What Republican gains mean

House of Representatives

Republican John Boehner is expected to become the new speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, after his party won the majority in that chamber in Tuesday's midterm elections.

Boehner delivered an emotional speech Tuesday night as the results were tallied.  He said the American people have sent a message to President Barack Obama that the country needs to change course.  He also said his Republican majority in the House willl stand for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government.

Top Rank

The House speaker is the top-ranking position in the chamber and is elected by members of the party in power.  The speaker helps set the party's legislative agenda and may preside over House debates, in addition to fulfilling regular duties representing his or her congressional district.

If chosen by his party, Boehner will replace Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Boehner has been the top-ranking member of the Republican minority in the House since 2006.

Early Notoriety

Boehner was first elected to Congress in 1990, becoming one of a group of seven freshman congressmen who gained notoriety by exposing corruption within the lawmaking body.  He is the sole member of that group still in office.

Boehner quickly became a top adviser of Newt Gingrich, the Republican leader in the House who became speaker when the party took control in 1994. Boehner helped draft and sell the party's Contract With America.

A small business owner from the midwestern state of Ohio, he has led opposition to recent White House initiatives such as health care reform, stimulus spending, and cap-and-trade emissions control policy.  His official biography says he prioritizes education reform and elimination of wasteful spending.

The Next House Speaker?

President Barack Obama repeatedly singled out Boehner in a September economic speech, bringing his name to national attention.  The president said the minority leader and his party have "no new ideas" and would return the country to tax cuts and corporate loopholes that the White House blames for the financial crisis.

Boehner's selection as House speaker is not automatic.  House members must vote for their new leadership after all take their seats in January.  Democrats will vote for their top-ranked position: House minority leader.

Foreign Policy

The new balance of power in the U.S. Congress could have a significant impact on international issues now that the House of Representatives has a Republican majority and Senate Democrats have lost several seats.


President Barack Obama has said he would like to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the middle of next year, if battlefield conditions allow.  Analysts say more Republicans in Congress could lead to greater support for the Afghan war in the short term.  It could also create conflict if Democrats press for the beginning of a withdrawal next year.


The Republican agenda also includes a pledge to remain tough on terrorism and to press for a more comprehensive missile defense system.  Republican gains in the House and Senate could also lend weight to critics' charges that the president has not been tough enough on Iran and its potential development of a nuclear weapon.

Russia, China

The Republican gains may also allow conservatives to press Mr. Obama to be more assertive on disagreements with Russia and China.  They could complicate efforts to ratify a new strategic arms reduction treaty (the START-ONE treaty) with Russia that expired last year.  Critics say its ratification would weaken U.S. defenses, a notion Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats reject.

Why This Election Matters: For the Congressional vote, the midterms were a referendum on President Barack Obama, who began his term two years ago with control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Can a person who was not born in the US be elected to Congress ?

(Hit Control A on your keyboard to see the answer)
Answer - Yes, but you must have held US citizenship for 7 years

Previous Trivia Questions

Why is the November 2 election called Midterm?     Answer: Because it takes place in the middle of the president's term in office

How Many Times Can a US Congressman Be Re-Elected ?       Answer: There is no limit

How Many Times Can a US Senator Be Re-Elected?     Answer: There is no limit

US Votes 2010 Midterm Election Program
Watch: Global impact of elections - Live webcast event

How do foreign students living in the US view the midterm election?

Obama Warns Against Voter Apathy in November Elections
Watch: Live 2-hour election night special

Conservative Tea Party Movement Shapes Election Landscape
What is the "Tea Party" and how is it impacting US politics?

More Election News

This forum has been closed.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs