Entries in Midterm Elections (29)


Palin Video Spotlights Sen. Ted Cruz, Prepares for Midterm Elections

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If anyone was wondering if Sarah Palin is going to weigh in on the 2014 midterm elections, that question was answered Wednesday with a resounding yes.

In a video released Wednesday by Sarah Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, she revved up conservatives and Tea Party Republicans for 2014 with snippets of her Conservative Political Action Conference speech from earlier this month as well as media coverage praising the speech and her string of successful past endorsements.

[See the full video from Sarah Palin's YouTube Channel here.]

Titled “Loaded for Bear,” the video begins with the praise from the mainstream media she is always quick to criticize as the “lamestream media.”

“Sarah Palin stole the show at this weekend’s CPAC convention,” the video begins. “She is a superstar and she’s used that to get people elected.”

“She still knows how to fire up the conservative faithful,” another television anchor says.

The video’s string of media praising her tenacity and endorsement record is a key part of the video, and despite some of the coverage being a bit dated, it still helps push her view that she doesn’t need a Fox News contract to get her point of view out there or to have the press talking about her.

The other star of the video is new conservative superstar Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who introduced Palin at CPAC.

“She is fearless, she is principled, she can pick winners,” Cruz says in a clip from that introduction. “Sarah Palin jumped in early and supported Rand Paul. She supported Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, Pat Toomey, Nikki Haley, Deb Fischer, Jeff Flake and myself.”

Over images of Palin at the Iowa State Fair in 2011–when speculation ran high she would enter the GOP primary–as well as footage from Tea Party rallies in Nevada, Palin’s CPAC speech is interspersed.

“Don’t let the big consultants, the big money men and the big bad media scare you off,” Palin says. “They talk about rebranding the GOP instead of restoring the trust of the American people. How about rebuilding the middle class?”

The video then excerpts the part of the former Alaska governor’s speech when she goes after Washington, D.C., establishment Republicans and gives a not-so-veiled dig at Karl Rove and others:

“Now is the time to furlough the consultants and tune out the pollsters. Send the focus groups home and toss the political scripts. Don’t let them invalidate you,” Palin says. “It’s time for We the People to break up the cronyism, and that goes for finding candidates. Look into our communities, our PTAs, our service clubs, small businesses, Tea Party rallies and city halls for people willing to lead.”

The video — made by a production company she often uses named Passcode Creative — doesn’t just go after members of her own party, but the president as well.

As we hear Palin say, “We deserve better than the people who call themselves our leaders,” we see an image of the president playing golf and headlines about the unemployment rate.

Interspersed with video of Palin’s greeting supporters and conservative women like New Mexico’s Susanna Martinez or Nebraska’s Deb Fischer, she warns those watching:

“But we won’t get it unless we fight and this is one fight that’s worth it,” Palin says. “The next election is 20 months away. The last thing we need is Washington, D.C., vetting our candidates.”

The video ends with another cameo from Cruz, “I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if it were not for Governor Sarah Palin,” and her signature mama grizzly roaring with a popular Palin saying, “We haven’t yet begun to fight!”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Republicans Gain More House Seats; Two Races Still Undecided

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As freshman lawmakers chart out the course for the next Congress, incumbents are holding their breath in two House races around the country that could determine whether Republicans will gain a greater advantage in the next Congress.

On Tuesday, Republicans won two additional seats in the House, bringing the GOP's count to 242, with Democrats holding 190 seats.

Republicans emerged victorious in Texas Tuesday when incumbent Democratic Rep. Solomon Ortiz conceded to his Republican challenger, Blake Farenthold.  Like many of his counterparts, Ortiz, a 28-year veteran of the House, faced heavy anti-Washington sentiment.  He lost by a mere 800 votes.

Democrats suffered another blow in New York's 25th District, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei conceded to Republican Ann Marie Buerkle.  Maffei trailed Buerkle by 567 votes.

Two races -- one in California and one New York -- remain undecided, both with Democratic incumbents' jobs on the line.

Democrats hope to get some respite in New York's 1st District, which includes Long Island, where four-term congressman Tim Bishop is in a neck-and-neck race with Republican Randy Altschuler.

In California, Republican candidate David Harmer has refused to concede in the state's 11th District, even though he is trailing well behind Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Campaign Spending Scorecard: Record Cash, Little Impact

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite all the attention on record spending by outside groups during the 2010 midterm campaign, a post-election analysis by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute found that the huge sums had little effect on the outcome of the election.

Non-party organizations reported spending more than $280 million, or 130 percent more money, during the 2010 campaign than they did in 2008, according to the Institute. The figure eclipsed spending totals by the national political parties for the first time in recent memory.

However, in the most competitive races across the country, spending by party and non-party groups combined was roughly equal in support of Republican and Democratic candidates, a dynamic that suggests the electoral wave was rolling well ahead of any outside groups' attempts to sway voters' hearts and minds, the Institute said.

"Neither set of expenditures [party or non-party spending] could be said to have tipped the electoral balance," Institute researcher Brendan Glavin wrote in the report.

Republicans captured at least 60 seats from Democrats Nov. 2 to decisively seize majority control of the U.S. House. In the Senate, GOP candidates flipped six seats, although not enough for Republicans to claim a majority.

While the skyrocketing spending by outside non-party groups did favor Republicans overall, according to the Institute, in most races the influence seemed to have been offset by a significant difference in party spending, which favored Democrats.

"These [non-party] organizations that are spending money independently are doing exactly the same thing as parties," said Steve Ansolabehere, a political scientist at Harvard University, of the new dynamic. "When all is said and done after this election, we're going to look at those organizations and they're going to look like parties. It's just going to be another way money is flowing into campaigns."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Gallup Poll: President Obama’s Approval Rating Rises Despite Midterm Election Losses

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, N.J.) -- President Obama’s approval rating from the American public has risen to 47 percent, an improvement from the 43-percent rating he had earned just days before last week’s midterm elections, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

Past Gallup trends have shown that a president’s approval rating usually declines when his party suffers a midterm loss.  That was the case for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in 1994 and 2006, respectively.

If President Obama is able to sustain his current rating, Gallup says it would throw off the pattern of recent presidents whose parties suffered major midterm losses. 

Reasons for the uptick in the president’s recent ratings could be related to his post-election speech admitting responsibility for his party’s devastating loss and calling on both parties to bring ideas together for improvement on America’s biggest frustrations.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Midterms Require 'Course Corrections,' President Obama Says

Photo Courtesy - SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(MUMBAI, India) -- At his town hall meeting at St. Xavier College, President Obama was asked how the midterm elections would impact his foreign policy, particularly as it relates to India.

"One of the wonderful things about democracy is that when the people are not happy it is their right, obligation and duty to express their unhappiness much to the regret sometimes of incumbents," the president said. "But that’s a good thing, that’s a healthy thing."

The president said the election results "also requires me to make some mid-course corrections and adjustments. And how those play themselves out over the next several months will be a matter of me being in discussions with the Republican Party, which is now going to be controlling the House of Representatives, and there are going to be areas where we disagree and hopefully there are going to be areas where we agree."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


GOP Wave Yields More Racially Diverse Congress, No Gains for Women

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Come January, the halls of Congress will be filled with dozens of new Republican members, many of whom will help make the chamber more diverse than it was before. By numbers alone, the Congress that will meet in 2011 will be slightly more racially and ethnically mixed than the current one, according to an ABC News analysis of the election results. But the vast majority of representatives in Washington will continue to be white, straight men.

Several African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American candidates succeeded in their bids for House and Senate seats, while women candidates faced mixed results, leaving their overall representation in Congress flat or declining based on the outcome of several undecided races.

A record eight Latino Republicans were elected to Congress Tuesday, bringing total Latino representation on Capitol Hill to a near-record 27, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

The number of Asian-American members of Congress will remain at 13, while the number of African-Americans will be 41, one less than the current makeup. Overall, the number of African-Americans in Congress will remain steady. But for the first time in five years, the U.S. Senate will not have an African-American member in 2011.

Meanwhile, despite record numbers of women filing to run for the U.S. House and Senate during the primaries, women failed to increase their number in Congress and could cede ground to men next year, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Seventeen women currently serve in the Senate, and 11 were not up for re-election this year. In the House, where 73 women now serve, at least 70 women will be seated in 2011. But three women candidates are in races too close to call. If any one of them lose, there will be a decline in the total number of women in Congress for the first time in 30 years. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Election Day Preview: What Signs to Watch Out For

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Election Day has arrived and the two major parties appear to be going in opposite directions, with Republicans poised to regain the House and possibly the Senate, and Democrats scrambling to keep their losses to a minimum.

To get an idea of what kind of night it will be early on, there are a number of races that could be bellwethers for each party:

Indiana: If the GOP wins at least two of three House seats held by Democrats Brad Ellsworth, Joe Donnelly and Barron Hill, Republicans will likely easily surpass the 39 seats needed to retake the House.

Kentucky: A victory by Democrat Jack Conway in the Senate race over Tea Party favorite Rand Paul could mean GOP chances of regaining a Senate majority are kaput.  Otherwise, their prospects look decent.

West Virginia: Democratic Senate candidate Joe Manchin is popular in the state but if he loses to challenger John Raese, the prospects of Democrats holding onto the Senate dim noticeably.  If two Democratic candidates for the House -- one liberal, the other conservative -- don’t win, the predicted GOP landslide could be monumental.

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania has voted solidly Democratic in the past five presidential elections.  However, big gains by the GOP in House seats there could spell big problems in 2012.

Illinois: Should Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias fail to win the seat once held by President Obama, Democrats can probably kiss their hopes of keeping the Senate good-bye.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


President Obama Ahead of Midterms: Out of Sight, Not off the Air

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is spending part of his Monday taping radio interviews and calling volunteers and activists in a handful of states, including Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and his home state of Hawaii.

It's a last-ditch effort by the president to rally his base before Americans vote in what Democrats expect to be a disappointing midterm election.

Next week, President Obama begins his longest foreign trip to date -- nearly 10 days in India and Indonesia, along with economic summits in South Korea and Japan.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Optimistic, Emotional Harry Reid Pushes Hard Toward Finish Line

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SPARKS, Nevada) -- It's been one of the toughest, hardest fought, nastiest campaigns of the midterm election cycle, but in the final days before the election Sen. Harry Reid's mood is decidedly upbeat. ABC News caught up with the Nevada Democrat over the weekend at his campaign headquarters in Sparks, Nevada.

"I feel good, to be honest with you," he said. "I have a lot of energy physically, emotionally and I'm very happy with the campaign where we are."

The polls tell a different story. For weeks, he and his opponent, Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, have been locked in a statistical dead heat, although neither is particularly popular with voters.  A recent Mason-Dixon poll showed Reid is more unpopular than ever, carrying an unfavorability rating of 56 percent compared with 39 percent for Angle.

Reid became visibly emotional while talking about how difficult the campaign has been. While chatting with a voter on the phone at his headquarters, he remarked, "Things are going to get better. It's been very difficult for me, for everybody."

For Reid and his troops, the push for votes will continue into the final hours before Election Day. As he looked over his volunteer force, Reid, like a proud father, said "This is the best grassroots operation in the history of the country, except for a presidential election."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Election Fraud Charges Swirling Before Election Day

Photo Courtesy - Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Election day is still hours away, but already complaints about voter fraud, intimidation and dirty tricks have emerged in key battlegrounds like Nevada, Florida and Pennsylvania.

In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, supporters of Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy and his Republican challenger, former congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, are sparring over absentee ballots, with Democrats alleging a disproportionate number of absentee ballot applications from Democrats are being disqualified by the Republican controlled county board of elections.

A Daytona Beach city commissioner was arrested and, along with his campaign manager, charged with committing absentee ballot fraud in Florida.

In Minnesota, Democrats have charged that billboards in St. Paul and Minneapolis are intended to scare minority voters away from the polls.  The billboards paid for by Election Integrity Watch depicts people behind bars.  The same group is offering a $500 reward for tips that lead to convictions of voter fraud organizers.

The high stakes battle in Nevada between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle has prompted several allegations of cheating, including that Angle supporters who tried to vote early claimed the machines were rigged to cast their vote for Reid.  Angle's campaign has also charged that Reid's people held an event at which free food was allegedly offered to people in exchange for their going to vote, which would violate federal election law.

In past elections, the accusations and early outrage have often outstripped the evidence.  Nevertheless, Republicans and Democrats are lawyering up for the coming legal dogfight.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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