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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid