The just concluded 2010 midterm senate and congressional elections was an awakening call for the Democratic Party to go back to the drawing board if it is to win the next presidential election. According to the (“Elections 2010” 3), the 2010 midterm elections resulted in the greatest restructuring of the US House of Representatives in half a century. It further points out that since the start of the use of exit polls, in 1982, to gauge support for Congressional candidates, the Democratic Party lost women’s votes to the Republicans. During the elections for both the senate and House of Representatives that took place on the 2nd of November this year, the Democratic Party remained in the control of the senate but lost the control of the House of Representatives to the archrivals, the Republican Party.
During this historical event, all the seats in the House of Representatives and thirty-six of the one hundred senate seats were up for grabs. The results of this midterm election saw more than two hundred and thirty-nine seats in the lower house (House of representatives) controlled by the Republican party while the democratic party controlled one hundred and eighty-eight seats. Hence the elections resulted in the loss of the Democratic control of the House of Representatives. These elections were a replica of the 1994 midterm elections that saw the Democratic party(then under President Clinton) , which had controlled the US house of representatives for a record forty consecutive years lose fifty-two seats (Campbell 4). A majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives will result in a divided government resulting in a replica of the 1994 midterm elections where the Republicans paralysed all the government businesses. Hence a divided government is not a good thing since it will hinder the proper functioning of the Government. However, elections saw the Democratic Party control the Senate Congress for three consecutive sessions. The112th United States Congress, whose term, of office commences in the first month of 2011, will see the President Obama’s party occupy fifty-three seats, while forty-seven seats will be held by the Republicans. The fifty-three Democratic Party seats are inclusive of two independent senators who are pro-democratic party. This means that following the 2010 midterm elections, the president’s party lost six seats to the Republicans in the US senate. These were in the following states: Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota, Arkansas, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The previous senate was composed of two independent senators, fifty-six democratic seats and forty one Republican seats.
According to the (“Elections 2010” 5), these elections saw a shift in support of certain groups for either the Democratic or Republican Party. For instance voters above sixty years of age, independent voters and Catholics supported the Republican Party by numbers never witnessed since the midterm elections of 1982. It also points out that independent voters, who played a central role in the 2008 election of Barrack Obama as president, turned their backs on the party and put their weight behind the G.O.P. These elections also saw the unusual loss of Democratic constituencies to the Republican Party including voters from the country’s West and east parts, urbanites, uneducated or less educated and less affluent voters with the exception of African- Americans who continued throwing their weights behind the Democratic Party. The paper further states that majority of voters aged thirty and below continued supporting the President’s party and they constituted about eleven percent of the total number of voters. Contrary to this, voters aged sixty years and above put their weight behind the Republican Party and constituted thirty-four percent of the total electorate.
Despite campaigning well, Obama’s Health care reforms and economic policies played a central role in the demise of his party popularity witnessed in 2008 elections. Most Americans are not happy with the way their president’s handling the financial crisis. From my point of view the results were genuine and a clear message to president Obama to do something and fulfil his campaign promises. The major financial supporters of the Democratic party in 2010 midterm elections include AFL-CIO while the Republicans received financial support from Michael Steel (zeese 3).
The Afghanistan War
The Afghanistan War which saw America send hundreds of thousands of soldiers and modern equipment was as a result of the September 11th attacks by Al-Qaida terror network, whose leader Osama bin Laden enjoyed support from the then Taliban regime that governed Afghanistan. The then American president, George Bush Sent American troops to Afghanistan capture Osama Bin Laden and destroy the cells of his terror group al-Qaida and their hosts the Taliban. The Bush Administration succeed in topping the Taliban regime but failed to achieve its primary goal of going to Afghanistan; kill or capture Osama bin Laden and destroy the Al-Qaida terror cells and their Taliban supporters.
Following the Victory of Barrack Obama as US president in 2008, things were poised to change based on his campaign promises. But since become the American president, Barrack Obama has changed his tunes from withdrawing his troops from Afghanistan to destroying the Taliban and Al-Qaida and establishing a democratic regime i.e. the major political goal of Obama in Afghanistan is the establishment of a democratic regime and his military goal is the defeat and destruction of the al-Qaida and its allies. To realize this, Obama has increased the number of American Troops in recent months to destroy the Taliban and has supported democratic elections in Afghanistan. But Obama’s critics have argued that the strategy of military surge is doomed to fail like that of George Bush in Iraq and that such strategy will increase American causalities. Other critics have also argued that such strategy will result in civilian causalities which are already very high. According to (DeYoung 2), President Obama has been using same terms when it comes to defining his military strategy in Afghanistan i.e. ensuring that there are no safe havens for the Taliban both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, dismantling and finally defeating them. However, unlike George Bush who solely dependent on American military mighty to achieve his goals, Obama has decided to search for help other countries like Pakistan and other allies mainly the NATO i.e. Obama is a nationalist. On the political goal of Obama presidency in Afghanistan, Critics have criticized him for supporting Karzai after rigged elections. Most of Obama’s Critics argue that he did not do enough to ensure a democratic election in Afghanistan during the last elections. I have not seen any media bias in the Obama policy on Afghanistan(“Obama: ‘Victory’” 2).
Despite its importance to American economy and international image, the Afghanistan war played a minimal role in the midterm elections since most Americans seem to be concerned with the state of their economy and financial policy as opposed to international policy.
Campbell, James, E. The Presidential Pulse Of congressional elections. New York. Macmillan Publishers, 2007.
DeYoung, Karen. “With narrow military goals, Obama ups the ante.” The Washington Post. Web.
“Elections 2010.” The New York Times.
“Obama: ‘Victory’Not necessarily Goal in Afghanistan.” Fox News. Web.
Zeese, Kelvin. Corporate funding of the upcoming US Mid-term Congressional elections. Web.