This article was published on The GW Post and in Athens Views (print – no longer in circulation) on October 10th
Almost a month before the US Midterm Elections which are to be held on November 4, and the US public is called to decide their next representatives at the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. Just two years after Obama’s re-election, things are looking rather tough for the Democrats as polls seem to favor the Republican Party for both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Although Barack Obama popularity is at a very low level compared to previous years, according to Pew Research Center the American public sees the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican as the Democrats gain on issues. Yet voting attitudes differ as chances are the Republican Party has a 54% chance of taking control of the Senate, according to the HuffPost Polster with the latest poll coming from CBS News/New York Times/YouGov confirming that the Republican Party is too close to the 51% that is needed for the win. According to that survey the Republicans have a 42% chance of taking control of the Senate over 39% for the Democrats. A key figure for the Senate elections is Greg Orman, an entrepreneur and independent candidate from Kansas as he will most probably be the one that will decide the majority outcome in what the HuffPost Polster has called the Orman Effect.
One important element for these elections is the fact that they are seen as a vote of confidence for Barack Obama as 45% of voters think these elections will be a vote against the president who has already been accused that the only reason he follows an offensive strategy against ISIS is the Midterm Elections. The CBS News/New York Times/YouGov survey is very eye opening about voting attitudes. The key issues that will affect the voters are non-other than the usual, the economy, immigration, gun control, health care, social issues and to a lesser extent foreign policy. For example 38% of those asked think that Obamacare arguably the Presidents biggest achievement should be completely repealed, 50% think that illegal immigrants should be required to leave, while 38% believe that the economy has neither improved nor worsened. Attitudes are in the middle concerning foreign policy: on ISIS 22% think the Democrats are handling it better while 29% the Republicans, the only sure thing about that is that 76% are in favor of the US airstrikes against the Islamic State.
On the House of Representatives front, although things are less clear, no major changes are expected as the Republican Party will most likely keep its majority.
Obama’s sinking popularity can definitely serve as a major blow for the Democratic Party and both the candidates and the president already know that. While several candidates have started avoiding the president, Barack Obama needs to bring together his party so that he gives a clear unity message both to the voters and the Republicans. On the other hand, the top names of the Democratic Party which most definitely include Hilary Clinton, need to show support to the the President. Hillary Clinton, who is on the fore at the moment due to the presidency rumors that have been circulating the past months, needs to stand alongside Barack Obama and support her party during this election period. If the Democrats want to win this race will need to sacrifice their egos for a little bit while Obama might need to sacrifice his planned policies. The second has already become evident from the offensive strategy the US is following against ISIS, as well as the delay of the controversial immigration reform.
It might be time for the Democrats to switch to a panic mode as it is more than likely that the Republican Party will gain control of the Congress. If that happens, it would be a drawback for Barack Obama personally and the policies he might try to follow in order to end his career as a successful president. Obamacare although passed it will be at stake if the Congress is controlled by the Republican Party, so is the immigration reform which, if passed will be Obama’s second most noteworthy achievement as president.