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Global Vision

winter 2011

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GLOBAL p ersp ec t iv e s | US 201 0 midter m elec tions GLOBAL p ersp ec t i v e s | US 20 1 0 midt erm el ec t io ns

Report:

The US Mid-Term

Elections 2010
President Obama nurses a bloody lip – caused on the baseball court over the Thanksgiving holiday, not by political opponents

by J e ffr ey Bradford P h. D.
nal seats they had lost in the 2008 general 100 seats making up the US Senate (1 per overlooked in making sense of US politics. suggested this should be short-lived. The In terms of contemplating whom might suc-
election. The outcome of the Congressional State), the Democrats hold 53 with the Re- The Governor is, in-effect, Chief Executive of Republican Party is limbering up to cele- ceed President Obama, it is probably too
November 2010 saw the US mid-term races was 242 Republican delegates, 192 publicans holding 46 and one lone indepen- a State and the Oval House has more often brate 100 years since the birth of former early to call. During the mid-term elections
Democrat and 1 undecided at the end of the dent Senator. been run by a former Governor than a Con- President and Party totem, Ronald Reagan. former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin en-
elections occur where US citizens election. One of the outcomes of the loss of The Tea Party movement (named after the gressman or Senator. Of the 50 States, the Think of this as a series of celebrations dorsed a number of Republican candidates,
made their first national ballot box control of the House event in American end of the election saw 29 Republican held which represent an opportunity to position as did former 2008 Presidential candidate
response to Washington’s actions of Representatives history which state Governorships, 19 Democrat, 1 inde- the Republican brand as well as to raise fi- Mitt Romney. Rumours swirl about Wash-
post-financial crisis and the Obama was the replace- marked the down- pendent and 1 undecided. nances to compete in 2012. ington of the President replacing Vice-Presi-
ment of the House ward spiral to the dent Joe Biden with Secretary of State, Hil-
Administration. Speaker Nancy Pe- War of the Revolu- Looking ahead to the 2012 Presidential elec- Additionally, many swing and young voters ary Clinton. A challenger to Obama in 2008,
losi – a key support- tion between tion the situation is still very fluid. Probably in 2008 may well feel disenchanted with the Hilary’s husband, former President Bill Clin-
Under the US Electoral system every two er of President America and Brit- one of the keys for the incumbent adminis- apparent lack of change – the talisman of ton worked hard to shore up the Democrat
years all 435 members of the House of Rep- Obama with Repub- ain) is independent tration is to work on the “feel-good” factor the Obama campaign. Continued engage- vote in 2010 – something he might possibly
resentatives and one-third the hundred lican John Boehner and seeking to be regarding gradual economic recovery. This ment in Afghanistan and gradual withdrawal have been less likely to do without seeing a
members of the Senate are up for election. taking her role, true to the ideals of year saw a periodic population census which from Iraq, coupled with falling personal in- benefit in the future. Whether or not the
Estimates suggest that some 40% of the eli- which for students the political cul- will affect decisions over movement of comes and pension plans will create further recent leaks of US foreign policy communi-
gible voting population (excluding those in of government is ture. Republican boundaries separating political districts. pressure from which to recover. cations to the internet will harm her cred-
prison, overseas and so forth) voted this Second in line of party campaigns Add in the majority of Republican Govenor- ibility in the coming years or not is hard to
past November for candidates whom the succession after the and candidates ships and control of the Congress suggests The irony however is that President Obama say. Whilst it might not be damaging, such
Washington Post estimated cumulatively President and Vice- sought to co-opt that further substantial health care reform is would seem to have addressed well the eco- volume of leaked communication may have
spent some $80 million in campaign fees to President. the movement with unlikely. nomic challenges faced by his Presidency the odd sound bite which a skilled opponent
attract voter attention. In the Senate the Democrats managed to mixed success in the Senate. and even if the battle to continue his Presi- could use to damaging effect.
hold onto their majority, benefitting in part Also contested this November were a num- Democrats may feel the need for soul- dency into a second term is becoming more
The results favoured the opposition Republi- from the effects of the Tea Party movement ber of electoral races for State Governor po- searching to understand the rebuttal they uphill, his actions and oratory will have cre-
can Party who won many of the Congressio- on Republican candidate selection. Of the sitions. The position of Governor is often faced at the ballot box, though it could be ated a solid platform for a successor.

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