Polls Open for Crucial US Midterm Elections

World | November 2, 2010, Tuesday // 07:54|  views

Millions of Americans go to the polls today in crucial mid-term elections that could determine the effectiveness of the remainder of the Obama presidency. Photo by EPA/BGNES

US voters will go to the polls in midterm elections on Tuesday for races in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as state and local offices.

Democrats won control of both houses of Congress in 2006, and the White House in 2008, but their continued dominance of both elective branches of government is in doubt.

A president's party usually loses seats in Congress during midterm elections, and widespread frustration over sluggish US economic growth and stubbornly high unemployment are contributing to what many political analysts see as a toxic political climate for Democrats.

Public-opinion polls show the US electorate fairly evenly split between Democratic and Republican-leaning voters.  But Republicans are thought to be more energized than Democrats and therefore more likely to actually cast a ballot in this election.  Among likely voters, most polls show Republicans with a significant edge.

Although Republicans potentially could seize control of both houses of Congress, it is in the House of Representatives where they are thought to have the best chance of emerging victorious.

A party switch in the House would end the four-year tenure of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Her likely replacement would be House Republican Leader John Boehner, who has pledged to reverse what he sees as the free-spending, debt-inducing ways of the Obama administration.

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Tags: US, Congress, Senate, House of Representatives, Obama


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