News / USA

Voter Anger Becomes Major Factor in US Elections

U.S. Senator John McCain survived a Republican primary challenge in Arizona on Tuesday.  Senator McCain was the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 2008, but may count himself lucky this year in an election climate that features voters angry with incumbent politicians from both parties. 

2010 is shaping up as the year of the angry voter, and incumbent politicians from both parties are taking notice.

The latest example of voter anger is playing out in New York City over the controversial plan to build a mosque and Islamic center near the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks in lower Manhattan.

What is behind the anger?

The reasons for the anger vary, but much of it is related to the national economy.  High unemployment, a weak housing market and growing pessimism about the future create the kind of frustration that leads to demands for political change in Washington.

Rusty is from Texas, and many things make him angry this year, especially the way President Barack Obama is running the country. He is a member of the Tea Party, which is not a political party, but a movement of grassroots conservatives unhappy with President Obama, the power of the federal government, government spending and the growing national debt.

Mike Harvey is a truck driver from Arizona.  He is angry too and is counting on the Tea Party movement to help elect new members of Congress in the November elections.

"I hope they grow some legs and I hope they get something done before this place turns into Venezuela or Cuba," he said. "They might have health care, but go ask them how they like it.  And I think that if Obama gets his way, he is going to turn this place into Cuba and I do not want to see it."

President Obama's push for health-care and financial reform has also sparked a conservative backlash against the role of the central government in the everyday lives of Americans, says Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown.

"Only two percent of voters think that the government does the right thing almost all of the time.  And only another 16 percent say government does the right thing most of the time.  That is a pretty damning indictment of the government and its ability to do the right thing from the American people," said Brown.

The rise of the Tea Party has also sparked some anger on the left from people who see the movement as racist and intolerant.

This man, who chose not to give his name, argued with Tea Party supporters at a rally in Washington. "And I just do not get what makes the Tea Party tick," he said. "I do not understand it.  They think they are Americans.  They think they are upholding the Constitution, and they are literally suggesting that violent acts be undertaken against the government?"

There is also frustration among Democrats that President Obama has not been able to deliver the kind of change and reform he promised during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Liberal Discontentment

Longtime consumer advocate and four-time independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader tells VOA he is aware of liberal discontent with the president and is considering another run for the White House in two year's time.

"Every day people say, well, we misjudged him, he is disappointing us.  Where is the hope and change?  I think they are focused very much on his similar policies in foreign and military affairs with George W. Bush," he said.

Come November, voters are likely to take out their frustrations about the economy on President Obama and the Democrats who run Congress, says longtime observer Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News.    

"He knows that he and his party are in big, big trouble in the November midterm elections," he said. "They are going to get clobbered.  The real question is, are they clobbered to a sufficient degree that they lose one or both houses of Congress?"

Voter anger has long been a staple of U.S. elections.  Conservative anger against President Bill Clinton helped to fuel the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994.  Democrats and independents unhappy with President George W. Bush turned the tables on the Republicans by taking back control of Congress in 2006 and then electing Mr. Obama president in 2008.  

A growing number of political analysts believe voter anger this year could propel Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives and possibly even the Senate, which would have a huge impact on President Obama's ability to govern and pass legislation in Congress during the next two years.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid