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What do US mid-term results mean for Obama?

17:52 UK time, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

US President Barack Obama's Democratic party has retained control of the Senate but lost control of the House of Representatives in the US mid-term elections.
What is your reaction to the results?

Republicans took six Senate seats from the Democrats, including wins for favourites from the Tea Party movement, but they fell short of victory.

However, possession of the House sets them up to block Obama initiatives.

John Boehner, likely to become the next Speaker, vowed to cut spending and reduce the size of government.

Are you in the US? What do you think of the results? What next for Mr Obama, the Democratic party, and the Republicans after these results?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    Are the US mid-terms a referendum on Obama? Absolutely.

    His failings will result in US electing the most right wing Government ever seen in a western democracy.

    Anyone not for Tea out there?

  • Comment number 2.

    Has this suddenly become a US website? Obama has made it clear he doesn't like us, so why is this a topic for discussion?

  • Comment number 3.

    Ye hah !! Mr Obama better watch out the exit door is beckoning , the BBC documentary the other night about tea parties gives a clear indication the American public will not put up with his dictotorial campaigns like the health bill and the massive unemployment will be his downfall ; bye

  • Comment number 4.

    Obama does not strike a chord with gut American values, only the liberal, educated establishment, which is why he is on his way out.

  • Comment number 5.

    Going by the BBC site when he got elected you would think he was going to save the world.
    The BBC is obsessed with him .

  • Comment number 6.

    Are the US mid-terms a referendum on Obama?

    Of course, they can't really be read any other way.

    Personally I think his huge fall in popularity is largely down to his failure to deliver on his promise of massive (but undefined) change.

    Which makes it even more interesting that the popularity of the Tea Party also seems to rest on the promise of massive change.

    But again this idea of 'change' is ill defined and seems to mean different things to different people.

    I wonder what will happen if they also fail to deliver after seeming to promise so much more?

    How many more unfulfillable promises does it take before the American public becomes completely disillusioned with its politicians?

  • Comment number 7.

    Of course they are a referendum on Obama. He practically promised to be the new messiah but seems to have delivered verylittle other than golfing and holidays for himself.

    I believe the results will be a resounding "No you can't"

  • Comment number 8.

    If I remember correctly..cant U.S. Presidents "veto" laws/bills that are passed? in other words; even if he loses a lot of support/seats, can he not still block their 'changes' if he pleases? well, whilst still President.

    @5,

    It would be hard to find any media organisation that wasnt all but tearful.

    Of course, theres also the American civilians who were crying everytime he came out on 'stage' to address them; and the best - or most amusing of it all - the "Obamas the new Messiah" posters.

    BBC didnt go that far. luckily.

  • Comment number 9.

    obama who?

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Are the US mid-terms a referendum on Obama?

    I would say they are more likely a referendum on the democratic party ruled US congress than on Obama himself.

    As I have only a passing interest in American politics, and I am not very good at reading tea leaves or the entrails of dead chickens, I can have a more complete answer for you by this time tommorrow.

  • Comment number 12.

    The US mid term elections tonight is very important because it is vital that Americans give the new administration some time to get the country back on track. It took 8 yrs to bankrupt the country so it is going to take more than 2 yrs. Many are impatient and want change to happen overnight which is understable because many families are hurting, people are hurting and the problem is that the economic recovery has not been quick enough and it can't be for the reasons already stated. Recovery is going to be slow and President Obama is not a magician and even magicians will find it difficult to turn around an economy that nearly collapsed. The current administration has done more in 2 yrs than any other. That in itself tells the story. Now they have to focus on jobs, employment, creating favourable conditions for businesses to thrive, reduce the inefficiencies and cut out down on spending and govt waste.

  • Comment number 13.

    The Tea Party is going to wipe the floor with the man, and its fully deserved.

    Socialism is the rot in the world today, and reversing the rot will start in the US and work over here.

  • Comment number 14.

    Of course.
    All US mid-term elections are a referendum on the sitting president.

    Next question.

  • Comment number 15.

    All talk no action.

  • Comment number 16.

    Before his election, BBC News made Obama out to be" The New Messiah"
    I wonder why?

  • Comment number 17.

    another NON Story from the BBC

    I couldnt give a flying Fig what happens in the mid terms!

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Gotta love all these people claiming they don't care what happens in the US.

    Do they seriously think we would be in Iraq (etc) if it were not for the US?

  • Comment number 20.

    United States mid-terms? Fascinating stuff. What's it all really about?

    Why doesn't the UK electorate have the option of 'mid-terms' that Americans enjoy?

    Is the UK democratic process, AND UK electorate missing out on something?

    Can we assume that the Americans can vote their disapproval of a government mid-term - or is that too simplistic?

  • Comment number 21.

    The sad thing is the American voter cannot win. The Titanic has hit the ice burg and the middle class have gone. Eight years of Bush finished it off. The sleeping giant is getting up. The strength is in the middle class not the upper class. Here comes China.

  • Comment number 22.

    The problem facing America and the UK is simple, we don't pay our way in the world anymore. We have exported our industries and we pay people to do nothing, in the case of Britain we pay them a lot to do nothing. We have built up large government and overpaid them. Capitalism has turned to bureaucracy.

    At the same time China has developed its industry on the back of hundreds of millions of relatively low paid workers.

    Two things are going to happen: China's private sector will demand power and rebel causing political instability. Britain and America will continue to decline economically as we struggle to maintain public provision public services that have become bloated and overpriced.

  • Comment number 23.

    Several things Americans need to remember are:

    Republican led wars.
    Republican financial banking collapse on the Republican watch.
    Republican wars that Americans are still paying for.
    Republican banking collapse that Americans are still paying for.

    Did I mention, all of the above Republican poisoned cup handed to Obama?

  • Comment number 24.

    @corum-populo: The term "mid-term" is misleading. It refers to the middle of the president's term.

    Every two years ALL of the House is up for re-election.

    Every four years, the president is elected (but not this year).

    Each senate seat is subject to election every six years. One third of all senate seats are up for election every two years.

  • Comment number 25.

    Just because a bunch of right wing nutters try to make a splash do we even begin to think that serious politics is dead ...certainly hope not ..the right wing nutters in the USA need to be firmly kept in their place because they are not welcome in the rest of the world...

  • Comment number 26.

    Who? Oh, the guy who promised the world and delivered not very much yet.

  • Comment number 27.

    It's curious that a Republican American government got the US into a spending led boom and bust and in the UK it was a left wing Labour government.

    It seems that no political wing has a monopoly of economic stupidity.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    I predict that, despite the dire warnings of disasterous results for the Democrats, it won't end up quite as bad as predicted and everyone on both sides will be happy. Happens every time.

  • Comment number 30.

    The Tea Party voters certainly seem to be committed to their cause. One was unemployed and had no health insurance. She was voting for a small government candidate who would remove her access to health care and her unemployment benefit. If the Democrates cannot win over a voter in her situation, they are certainly doomed.

    I strongly support the Tea Party. They are dedicated to reducing the deficit by whatever means. The American military consume a huge proportion of the budget and contribute significantly to the deficit. A world without the US military marauding around attacking one country after another would be a much better place.

    Ron Paul, who was a candidate for the Republican nomination also wanted American money spent on America. He specifically did not view it as America's responsibility to bankroll Israel. What a difference from the dreadful, duplicitous Obama whose first address after winning the Democratic nomination was to AIPAC, which shows exactly where his priorities lie. Ron Paul's son is a Tea Party candidate.

    It is essential that Obama should be ejected from the White House at the earliest opportunity. This election is a great first step on that road.

  • Comment number 31.

    @Bradford: All true.

    @joleon1: Such arrogance!

  • Comment number 32.

    Watch Out World. The Rabid Right wing Religio-Manic menace is rising and we are all going to be in their sight. I am still hopeful that Americans can avoid being suckered in. Come on America you are supposed to be the leaders of the Western World. Helping your Poor and Needy is not as I see and hear some Americans claiming " Communism or Socialism ", it is called in Europe " Common Humanity "

  • Comment number 33.

    It was interesting to see all the hoopla about the UPS package bombs. What was more interesting was to remember the prediction about 2 weeks prior the somewhere there was going to be a terrorist-type incident that would be seized upon by President Obama and blown WAY out of proportion to enable him to look "Presidential", something at which he usually fails.
    Indeed this exactly what happened; look at the facts: the explosives were detected prior to entry to the U.S., they were intercepted before coming to the U.S., and we were told the "Authorities" were tracking them to see who might have been responsible. The first rule of thumb if you are tracking suspicious shipments is; "You Don't Tell Anybody You're Tracking Them!!!" Hello! This could have been better scripted by 90% of the hack writers in Hollywood. While I have no doubt it really WAS an attempt at terror, the over-reaction by Obama was a painfully obvious, and more painfully pathetic, attempt to Wag The Dog.

  • Comment number 34.

    The Republicans and their supporters own 99% of the US media and there are no laws here to make the media balanced or factual. It was predictable that the media would attack Obama at the earliest opportunity. The media decides elections here.
    I do agree Obama has been too weak and too slow but I still think the Democrats need more time to help us recover from the global financial meltdown which bad Republican policies created. Bringing back the Republicans now will push us further down the road to financial ruin just as we are showing signs of a recovery.

  • Comment number 35.

    It has always amazed me that, in a country settled, or, if you wish, "conquered," by immigrants consistently manifests such anti-immigrant views.

    Does anybody in the U.S. remember that, until roughly 150 years ago, the entire western U.S. was part of Mexico? Does anyone remember the ugly history of the campaigns against the Irish, Jews, Italians, Eastern Europeans, the Chinese and numerous other immigrant groups?

    The most outstanding achievement the U.S. can truly be proud of in its rougly 250 years of existence is the ability to welcome those who would live in the country, and make a better life for themselvrs, their families, and ultimately all Americans.

    Why are new immigrants seen as a threat, when they are in fact part of the future, as they always have been?

    The small minded bigotry that spews this kind of ignorant bile is far more "un-American" than anything the present, or even the former Federal administration, would adhere to. Let us hope that their voices are muted, and that better sentiments prevail.

  • Comment number 36.

    Mr Obama looks vulnerable to the malcontents.

    I did not like his treatment of BP.

    The health bill looked like commonsense from here in Europe, but we are here in Europe! Most American were persuaded into mistrusting it by the Republicans. I really don't understand what is so wrong with wanting the best possible health for all Americans. It must cost less that America's foreign policy!

  • Comment number 37.

    I believe very strongly that Obama has done a good job in office so far. The healthcare business was rushed and really seem to shut out a lot of people, but the opposition (in the form of the GOP, Tea Party "movement" and others) wasn't interested in civil, progressive discussion. Having one party in a majority position where they can just ignore everyone does that - Democrat or Republican. I have some hope that Obama will work with a GOP controlled Congress, but rest assured - all the hype they've put out there about making things better will come back on them in two years, and the Presidency will be the prize.

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm sorry but I think this country has more important domestic issues to worry about than what's going on in America.

  • Comment number 39.

    Only indirectly, As president, he is considered the leader of his party. It's really as much an indictment of the insane, far left policies of Congress as it is of the President's Administration.

    The people of the US really walk down the middle of the political spectrum and want no part of the extremes of either side. The Dems forgot that.

  • Comment number 40.

    The American electorate seem to have become disillusioned with politics in general and are obviously feeling let down by the lack lustre performance of Barack Obama since he took office. The Tea Party is simply expressing frustration without facing up to the massive debt burden and the resultant high unemployment. Republicans are probably going to restrict Obama's ability to fulfil his now unpopular agenda and undermine any chances of his being re-elected in 2012. For the time being American politics are stuck in a rut and going nowhere.

  • Comment number 41.

    I suppose as a non-american I should not worry but the thought of power slipping to the Tea Party fills me with some unease. as a party it certainly seems to have more in common with the one held by the Mad Hatter than the one in Boston.

  • Comment number 42.

    I am from Jordan and I am watching US elections with so much concern. It seems to me that slowly but surely the neocons are coming back to power and a new war will be waged in the Middle East, this time against Iran with far more devastating effects on the region and the world. God bless us all and protect us from the pain US may bring on us.

  • Comment number 43.

    Re. Icebloo comment "The Republicans and their supporters own 99% of the US media and there are no laws here to make the media balanced or factual. It was predictable that the media would attack Obama at the earliest opportunity. The media decides elections here."
    The US is surely no different to most other countries. The reality is the media has very little interest in who is in power. Their only interest is in supporting the party that will enable them to make the most money, the one in power or the one in opposition.

  • Comment number 44.

    What are his accomplishments? Economy is still frozen.What actions he has taken for reduction in unemployment rate? Worst thing he has done is cut off of the annual increase of COLA for Soc. Sec. recipients.A negative for economy.

  • Comment number 45.

    Very important! Obama is facing a cruel and violent battle and he is accused of ruining the country and destroying the economy. He's also accused of being anti-American!
    So i hope he would regain and restore his popularity , strength , and credibility to lead the country!
    I adore him and think he's fit for it.

  • Comment number 46.

    Reagan & Clinton had the same bad result mid-term; but won their following elections 2 years later. The only danger is that Obama may become Jimmy Carter 11 in 2012.


    Obama is on the way to losing both the Senate & the House this election...& no at this point he "Can't Change" that outcome. He can change his future outcome in 2012 if he bucks himself up on the US economy & deficits thus not become a Jimmy Carter copycat.


  • Comment number 47.

    To Charlie Boyle, it is not immigrants that Americans are opposed to, it is ILLEGAL immigrants. They pay no taxes yet seek social services such as welfare, food stamps, health care, education, etc. They are a drain on an already unstable economy. People are welcome here as long as they legally enter our country and want to be an American. If you don't like our country or don't want to speak our language then find some other country that you do like and go there. How long must America be a country before we can have our own culture and traditions?
    I also don't believe that America is the only country with an ugly history. Since history and geography are not my best subjects, perhaps you could enlighten me as to which countries today are not the result of "conquering". All countries have a history, at what point can we sweep ours under the rug like everyone else?

  • Comment number 48.

    To cladinblack, shame on you. The US is too self absorbed to put together a forum where people from all over the world can come and voice their opinions, making it possible to actually learn something. You should be very proud of this website.

  • Comment number 49.

    To me, the anti-Obama comments that have been doing the rounds, pretty much ever since he was elected, have more than a whif of racism about them. I think there are a lot of Americans who just don't like the idea of a black guy running the country, and that all of this negative spinning is just a feeble attempt to make it sound as if there is a rational motive for the dislike.

  • Comment number 50.

    Partly a referendum on Obama but also an opportunity for all those who didn't like him in the first place, too left, too black, too Arab, too 'not us', to rally and give him a bloody nose joined by some who were disapointed to find that he can't actually perform miracles.

  • Comment number 51.

    You bet they are. President Obama should learn the same lesson former President Bill Clinton learned in 1994: the era of big government is over. Anyone for tea?

    But he can count on the BBC vote.

  • Comment number 52.

    Who cares!!'m English!!

  • Comment number 53.

    "Are the US mid-terms a referendum on Obama?

    I don't see Obama empowered as President, I see him as only a orifice that the Pentagon speak from. Political Office are prized positions for salaries, perks and inside knowledge into projects that a elected politician and their constituents can benefit financially in America's totalitarian bureaucracy.

    Political Parties are used to project to the American People propaganda that the USA is a democracy when it doesn't exist. It is a means to lay out a plan to do little or nothing at all that the people clamor for.

    Politics are the shell game to shift blame onto anything within the USA or outside. Politics is a propaganda machine to create in the minds of the American people who are their friends and who their enemy. Politicians are used to dictate who to hate, who to love, tolerate or go to war against.

    I participate in elections and vote only out of the fear of reprisals if I don't. People say if you don't vote then you have no say in political matters but that's not true, you don't have a say to begin with.

  • Comment number 54.

    Obama has screwed over the United States one too many times. He manipulated voters in 2008, and we are now going to tell him that the United States will never be the socialist nation that Obama wants.

  • Comment number 55.

    2. At 6:53pm on 02 Nov 2010, steve butler wrote:

    Has this suddenly become a US website? Obama has made it clear he doesn't like us, so why is this a topic for discussion?

    Hear Hear! We get bombarded by US-related stuff. Why don't we debate the more important stuff - the UK stuff? Oh, and we're also a member of the EU, not a US state.

  • Comment number 56.

    Ah, yes .. the 'Republican Tea Party' concerns over the US military budget?

    Let's think America.


    The US military budget is still paying for wars started, unfinished and restarted by more Republican Presidents than Democratic Presidents in American history!

    BTW America - banking collapse and depression under Republican Presidents.



  • Comment number 57.

    referendum or not the Americans deserved anything that is coming in their way if they vote for the GOP they are the ones that got them in this mess and if they think that Obama can just snap his fingers and fix things as they were before then they must open their eyes not just their ears with all the rhetoric that they been fed by Sara Bailing and the neocons from the Republicans party. Republicans got the US in this mess. in my opinion give the Man a chance. Bush got 2 terms in office when he should have never had either 1

  • Comment number 58.

    We get US American politics morning noon & night . We are better informed on US Policy & Politics than we are on our European "partners".
    I must be the only person in the UK who couldnt care less who runs Amercia or how. I wonder if the US population get Dave and Nick morning noon & night? Give it a rest.

  • Comment number 59.

    13. At 7:44pm on 02 Nov 2010, Mike wrote:

    Socialism is the rot in the world today, and reversing the rot will start in the US and work over here
    ----------------------

    Surely not another person who calls Obama a socialist. What a joke.
    The Americans have no clue about socialism and have been brainwashed into thinking socialists are criminals. If they had a chance to know about it they might quite like the idea and this is what the wealthy capitalist fear so much. It is exactly the same fear that Communist countries had about their citizens learnibng about life in the West. Capitalism as practised in the US is seriously threatened and so the right are becoming ever more vociferous

    Obama has been in power for less than two years how on earth could anyone impliment change in that short time let alone see much in the way of results. Obama's hands are tied like that of all presidents by the establishment so any change is a long fought battle.
    Well over 2billion$ have been spent on these few mid term elections it is appalling, especially when you consider what a dire state many Americans live in. The election party political broadcasts verge on lies and half truths. Communist indoctrination pales ito insignificance when compared with the expense and exageration of the propaganda.The republicans have the vast wealth of their supporters, Obama and the democrates have an unequal struggle on the financial front
    In all countries intolerance and extremists have the upper hand in times of financial hardship. I seriously fear the right wing will take control again soon and if this happens there will be social unrest in the country. It is an important cross road for America and capitalism. If the extremists win then the US is heading for downfall. The country will be on the downhill slide with social unrest amongst those who live in third world conditions so closely alongside the staggeringly wealthy. India and China will become the world powers and the days of world superiority will be over for the US

  • Comment number 60.

    It would appear many Americans have the memory of a goldfish.



  • Comment number 61.

    Finally it looks like common sense has returned to America and this current shambles are getting slowly removed from power. When is this going to happen in the UK? where is our voice of reason Tea party? Why are we tolerating this current government who want to sell our army to France?

    I sincerely hope the democrats defeat in the US is a precursor to the same thing happening here! God bless the USA!

  • Comment number 62.

    yeah well I'm voting CPUSA these elections... we're gonna win us some seats yeehaw... yippee ki-yay GOP & DEM

  • Comment number 63.

    Response to post #38 on 02 Nov 'Cladinblac'.

    Curiously, 'Cladinblac', the BBC HYS site you are posting on, is a British funded, publicly owned and international site offering free speech, with no advertisments.

    In addition, because of the BBC, this HYS site attracts much political annoyance and concern about American politics when certain questions are posted.

    It's sometimes hard to read and not to rise to the bait when certain extremists vent hate from under their usual stones and get past the moderators. But, you have the option to respond and/or complain.

  • Comment number 64.

    Voters are idiots. Brown and Obama get a kicking for borrowing to deflect the peril of global depression, Clegg for enabling the formation a national government to pay this bill. The tea party is well named: mad hare Palin offering to be mother.

  • Comment number 65.

    4. At 10:01pm on 02 Nov 2010, Tom Wilson wrote:
    Obama has screwed over the United States one too many times. He manipulated voters in 2008, and we are now going to tell him that the United States will never be the socialist nation that Obama wants.

    Obama never (SCREWED) the United States Mr. Wilson it was Bush that did with his echo to start 2 wars and spend billions of your hard earn taxes to satisfy his mentors for putting him into the White House so they could sell weapons to the US military. As for Obama (socialist) why because he got health care for all Americans? Health care SHOULD be a RIGHT for every citizen not just who can afford it if this is was what you called socialist

  • Comment number 66.

    At 8:39pm on 02 Nov 2010, Bradford wrote:
    It's curious that a Republican American government got the US into a spending led boom and bust and in the UK it was a left wing Labour government.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I do not buy in to that statement, the simple fact is that the democratic government of Barack Obama has already added over $2.5 trillion dollars to America's national debt from what it was before he took office two years ago, while the Republican government under George Bush on the other hand added less than $5 trillion dollars to the US national debt in its entire 8 years in office.

  • Comment number 67.

    The United States brags about its political system, but the President says one thing during the election, something else when he takes office, something else at midterm and something else when he leaves.

  • Comment number 68.

    This election is less about democrats, republicans and even Obama then about politicians not listening to the people. Obama and the democrats have spent the last two years arrogantly lying, cheating and stealing their way around the same that republicans did when they were in power. I think that this is going to continue to happen until one or the other party starts listening to the people. The absolute arrogance of all politicians in this country is astounding. If politicians won't get their acts together we'll force them to.

  • Comment number 69.

    The problem with the usa is the loss of jobs.I have`nt visited the usa but when i buy what i believe to be 100% american goods,i get a major league base ball cap made in china and a american football shirt made in vietnam.I probably would find myself picking up a statue of liberty figurine made in bangladesh.
    Obama said he would bring jobs back to america.They`ve succeeded in exporting war and killing.he has failed.A recent report said GM motors had opened a car factory in mexico.American companies invest in other countries and build factories.Big job losses in the usa.The japanese do the same thing and you see job losses in japan and an end to a job for life.
    In the uk,no more sheffield steel knives and forks instead its cheaper to make and transport steel product from south korea.Its the economins of the mad house causing big problems for today and the future.America s obsession with war and weapons production at the expense of all other industries will be the fall of the usa.Together with small arms the war on drugs and the failure of enducation in science.

  • Comment number 70.

    The USA will become the wastelands if they vote in the Republicans, increasingly dominated by "Tea Party" activists!! Very, very scary indeed!!

    Did anyone see Andrew Neill's report last night? Some of the "Tea Party" activists are as brainwashed as Islamic fundamentalists as many of their arguments were based on rhetoric heard on Fox News rather than any substance or intellect!

  • Comment number 71.

    Here in Nevada it seems to be a referendum on poor Harry Reid. Harry has been unable to articulate his vision for Nevada and for America (Harry's pretty bad at articulating anything, although he's a smart and talented negotiator who has risen to the top job in Congress). He's even been endorsed by virtually all of the Republican (yes, Republican) powers that be in Nevada because they know his opponent, Sharron Angle, of Teabagger origins, is basically a loony-toons character from a caricatured small town Nevada that you'd imagined only in bad B cowboy movies. She's actually going to beat him because Nevadans have been hoodwinked into thinking Reid and Obama want to raise taxes (they've lowered them), socialize healthcare (they've passed a bill that will enrich private insurers) and take away their guns (no living politician in America would dare touch that one). I don't understand it, but it's happening and Nevada and America will pay dearly for it.

  • Comment number 72.

    2 years is not really long enough for Obama to make a difference although I have to say I do not really agree with the economical approach through keynsian stimulus. It does not appear to be working and I think the democrats will lose overall control of house of representatives and some of the senate seats also. This means he will struggle to put through any more of his policies and the next two years could result in deadlock. The tea party representatives seem mad, homophobic and racist. I think the american dream may be well and truly over now.

  • Comment number 73.

    Dare I suggest that it is time the Americans considered some reform of their political system? The problem with the current setup is that the personality of the President is too influential on the makeup of Congress and Senate at election times, yet his day-to-day effectiveness can be limited by that makeup. These opposing influences can be seen as a safeguard against abuse of power by the President or the two Houses. On the other hand, a practical effect is to make long-term policy changes virtually impossible unless President, Senate, and Congress are fully aligned. As at present, a weak President - and Obama is clearly all talk - becomes a lame duck very quickly, just waiting to lose the next election. This is not very satisfactory for the USA, but it is particularly damaging in foreign affairs where the President personifies the USA, and Senate and Congress are irrelevant.

  • Comment number 74.

    It will be a sad day if the far right crazies are able to get a foot hold once more. Every time they have power they cause death and misery around the world on an unimaginable scale.

    For the sake of the world, let's hope Americans have the sense to vote with the brains and keep the tea party crazies out of sight.

  • Comment number 75.

    At 9:18pm on 02 Nov 2010, helsinkiboy wrote:
    I am from Jordan and I am watching US elections with so much concern. It seems to me that slowly but surely the neocons are coming back to power and a new war will be waged in the Middle East, this time against Iran with far more devastating effects on the region and the world. God bless us all and protect us from the pain US may bring on us.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think you are putting two and two together and coming up with five.

    I remember in the dying years of the Bush presidency, every paranoid delusionist and his brother who see conspiricy at every turn, was confidently predicting he would invade Iran before he left office and leave the mess for Barack Obama to clean up, it never happened.

    It would also help if certain countries could get strong governments who have complete control over their terroritories and paramilitary acivities, to stop them from being used as a training ground and launch pad by terrorist armies to attack the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 76.

  • Comment number 77.

    These elections were not a referendum on Obama's first 2 years, despite spin to the contrary. It takes a lot longer than 2 years to make a bag of garbage smell like roses. These elections were a referendum on the American electorate's impatience and intolerance. People complain about the new health care plan, ignoring the fact that it is the response to the greed and dishonesty of the prior medical establishment. people complain about the economy, ignoring the fact that 2 wars (still receiving some public support) and the "Patriot Act" (receiving much public support) are sucking the money down like a tub drain. Negativity has spewed from candidates of both parties as freely as crude spewed into the Gulf. This has been the most childish, catty election season I can remember, and I really don't care who wins (not that it matters) - I just want the noise out of my ears.

  • Comment number 78.

    The american electorate are like a frog that has been put in a pot water that is being brought to a boil. It won't notice the heat until the pot is boiling by that time its to late.

    We spent 8 years under a administration that grew goverement spent other peoples money on wars pushing their foreign agenda while there was no domestic policy and we were left to rot while the banks ran amok.

    The president said it would be a long painfull road to recover. Its a shame we as a country have a memory of a gold fish.

  • Comment number 79.

    "...Old Howard he just pointed with his gun, and said "that way, down on Highway 61"..."



  • Comment number 80.

    The majority of Americans do not know or study American history. Obama in 2010 is where FDR was in 1934. He is being called every name that FDR was called: Socialist, Communist, Fascist, everything but a Child of God.

    The T-Baggers were there in the 1930s but under a different name. Newt and the gang also. There was Father Coughlin; the Nazi marches in Madison Square Garden; the KKK and the Conservatives ie the AEI then known as AEA. All were just as loud and vociferous. But we're still here.

    The only thing that may be different yet the same is Karl Rove and his various schemes in the background. The so-called Independents seemed suddenly to have noticed that Obama is a Negro. But instead stating it overtly they say it covertly in what an awful job he has done. They expect instant gradification, a trait that the neocons always have assigned to African Americans in the inner cities. I ought to know since I am a Black urban person who has to hear constantly why urban Blacks are the underclass.

    Now it seems that instant gradification is an American trait. The Indies expect Obama to right what has been wrong since the 1980 when the US financial safety net that FDR put in place was dismantled by every President bit by bit since Jimmy Carter in 18 months. If they think that they can get satisfaction by letting the T-Baggers and the Republicans Obstructionist block every proposal Obama puts foward to bring the US and the world out of this mess, they will destroy not only America but the world.

    I used to say, We sure are lucky that no Hitler or other demigod is in the wings like in the 1930s. However this gang that wants to take over Congress and the White House might be worst than any Hitler and all the Nazis put together.

  • Comment number 81.

    God help America if it votes yet again for Republican politicians war making death to American children (but not their own) Republican high bonus banker brought America to it's knees party.

  • Comment number 82.

    It took two years to awaken the USA & the world, Obama is just a man. He doesn't walk on water. He is no Messiah. He is no rock super star or super hero. What he can do is to promise everything & be everything to everyone until people catch on. People have wised up. Obama is just a man. Just a man.

  • Comment number 83.

    I think this mid term-election is both a referndum on Obama and a block on any good US policy. I over in England and believed and still do believe that the Democrats and Obama are best for the world economy, but the US voters will vote on domestic issues and that means the lack of jobs and healthcare. If the Republicans had allowed the healthcare reform package it would be a better place.

    My prediction is the house of Representative going to Republicans but Democrats retain (just) the Senate but with fewer seats.

    Looking from the outside mid-term elections seem a pointless exercise. An election is in 2012 so this is really looked upon as the start of the 2012 election. America could so easily and have in the past lame duck presidents, with a president of one party and HOR and Senate by another party as could well happen tomorrow.

    The one thing the US could do with is a proper third party, not a party that has sympathy with one of the other main parties like the Tea Party but a proper party. It really blew the UK political scene apart when Labour was formed and took power in 1924 under Stanley Baldwin only 24 years after forming.

  • Comment number 84.

    4. At 7:07pm on 02 Nov 2010, ian cheese wrote:
    Obama does not strike a chord with gut American values, only the liberal, educated establishment, which is why he is on his way out.


    A sad but true indictment of US politics, 2010 style. I can understand that some may disagree with liberal policies, but the current obsession with denigrating "educated" politicians is bizarre. On the other hand, there are elements of the Democratic Party who have brought this on themselves through an attitude that actively derides the views of anyone and everyone who doesn't have an Ivy League school degree or two.

    Its depressing to observe that there is some truth to the generalization that the Democrats are smart, educated people who expend all their energy on convincing the electorate how dumb the Republicans are. At the same time, the Republicans are smart, educated people who expend all their energy on convincing the electorate that they really are that dumb. Democrats: "only intelligent, educated, liberal people are really qualified to be in government". Republicans: "only people who present themselves as stupid, ill-educated are illiberal are really qualified to be in government".

    A plague on both their houses, say I.

  • Comment number 85.

    "70. At 10:41pm on 02 Nov 2010, The_Ides_of_March wrote:
    Did anyone see Andrew Neill's report last night? Some of the "Tea Party" activists are as brainwashed as Islamic fundamentalists as many of their arguments were based on rhetoric heard on Fox News rather than any substance or intellect!"


    Wow, that sounds so different than the mind-numbed robots that watch Maddow and Olbermann on MSNBC, and chant Jon Stewart's and Bill Maher's political "humor" like it is a religion. Every side has those that "drink the Kool Aid", even Labour and the Tories. And they ALL sound crazy. You are correct to point out that Fox News is biased, but so are CNN, MSNBC, and even the BBC. And MSNBC is the broadcasting arm of the Democrat Party, in the same way that Fox is for the Republicans. Believe none of them.

    By the way, this election is not about defeating the Dems, its about getting rid of the incumbents who have messed this up. Both parties were to blame here. So, the Reps felt it in the primaries. Several of their leaders were defeated by political newbies. Now its the Dems turn. many of the Tea Partiers that are so villified by the biased media, voted for Obama in 2008. This is about Americans feeling betrayed by the political establishment - regardless of party. That's why the Republican elite hate the newbies as much as the Dems hate them.

  • Comment number 86.

    6. At 7:12pm on 02 Nov 2010, Alcibiades wrote:
    How many more unfulfillable promises does it take before the American public becomes completely disillusioned with its politicians?


    Well, couldn't this be said of most democracies? Couldn't it be said of France, Germany, Japan, and even the UK? We've all been let down by politicians. It disillusions some, but not all. Optimists will always exist.

  • Comment number 87.

    Oops, typo: penultimate sentence of post #84 should have been -

    Republicans: "only people who present themselves as stupid, ill-educated and illiberal are really qualified to be in government".

  • Comment number 88.

    The republicans are promising cuts when they get to power the same as here so it would be no surprise to me if they won mid-terms. In this globalised world its not difficult to notice how most countries mirror each other in opinion and situation so you can see how democracies are being manipulated in each country to the same agenda. Look how right-wing europe is getting just the same in england.......even to the point that a lot of elections have resulted in hung parliments.....australia, netherlands, england, canada (there may be more).....this must be unprecedented that in all of these different countries voters have been divided to the point the public have lost faith in their politicians.

    Interesting times

  • Comment number 89.

    10. At 7:31pm on 02 Nov 2010, Planet Mars wrote:

    Are the Americans seriously that stupid that they want to revert back to the Republicans being in office?

    Just look at the last idiot in George W Bush.
    _________________________________________

    Whats the difference exactly? As for palin she was clearly only put up to ensure obama won the election

  • Comment number 90.

    *Yawn*.

    Okay, a reality check:

    1) New presidents pretty much always get clobbered at the mid-terms - especially if they've inherited an economy that's gone down the toilet.
    That's why presidents get their most controversial legislation passed during those first two years when they can afford to be unpopular and when they (sometimes) have a workable majority in congress.

    2) The vast majority of the seats up for grabs are for the house. House representatives have a term of just two years. Given the very fickel current political climate there's an excellent chance those seats will switch back in two years once voters realise that (yet again) the guy they've elected is no better than the guy they kicked out and they still don't have the 'change' they were looking for.

    3) In two years the economy will be doing better (it can hardly get much worse) and historically american presidents *really* have to screw up badly not to get re-elected. When pushed, american voters tend to side with the incumbent (unlike UK voters who tend to do the opposite).

    The entire US system is based on the idea of putting the brakes on one branch of government using the others. American voters have historically seen it as their role to do this.

    So far from this being some major political event or something that will 'destroy' Obama, it's actually a fairly predictable political cycle which will probably be pretty much to some extent overturned in two years time.

    Obama and congress have already passed the majority of controversial legislation that he wanted to get through in his first term, and will spend the next two years as a much more 'moderate' president in order to gain re-election. Congress can't repeal the legislation that has been passed because it needs a large majority (in both houses) and because of the presidential veto.

    This follows the pattern of his predecessors.

    So all in all, this is much ado about very little.

  • Comment number 91.

    The astute and well informed American electorate is tired of being governed by the rich, thus, they reject them in favour of being ruled by the wealthy: a wonderful lesson in Demokracy

  • Comment number 92.

    As a 25-year-old former Republican Bush voter, turned Democratic Obama voter, turned independent, I'm entirely dissatisfied with the state of politics. While Obama's policies have been great in my opinion, he hasn't put an end to the rancor as usual in Washington. While some of that may be down to Republicans refusing to even come to the table to discuss some of the issues, it doesn't change the fact that we independents are left out of the political process except when it comes to election season and politicians will say anything to get a few more independent votes.

    Jon Stewart should run for President... and failing that, maybe I will in 10 years.

  • Comment number 93.

    Sadly Obama is proving to be a 'one trick pony' there is no way he is going to survive beyond this Presidential term! Unluckily for him he assumed power at the same time as America's worst financial crisis since WW2. I don't think he is surrounded by the best team he could have chosen, and he is still carrying the Bush baggage.

  • Comment number 94.

    I voted in Illinois early this morning for the Green Party. I definitely threw away my vote (and FPTP is a simply awful electoral system anyway), but in this state the Democrats and Republicans have both proven they can't govern the state properly. Both George Ryan (R) and Rod Blagojevich (D) got in trouble with the law, maybe Rich Whitney can buck that trend.

  • Comment number 95.

    "
    67. At 10:32pm on 02 Nov 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    The United States brags about its political system, but the President says one thing during the election, something else when he takes office, something else at midterm and something else when he leaves.
    "

    A bit like over here then.

  • Comment number 96.

    61. At 10:17pm on 02 Nov 2010, betahail wrote:

    Finally it looks like common sense has returned to America and this current shambles are getting slowly removed from power. When is this going to happen in the UK? where is our voice of reason Tea party? Why are we tolerating this current government who want to sell our army to France?

    I sincerely hope the democrats defeat in the US is a precursor to the same thing happening here! God bless the USA!


    --------------

    Please tell me you aren't serious. If so please someone ringfennce the UK,

  • Comment number 97.

    In the same way that the Environmental Movement was hijacked by the UN/WHO/IPCC global warming fraudsters, the Tea Party was quickly taken over by Republicans who are happy to add lots of other issues and distractions other than THE problem facing everyone - the Global Financial Scam. Mainstream media does a free promotional job with all this (the same they did with Facebook and its yet-to-be-realised implications) and the dumb-and-dumber masses soak it all up. The BBC faithfully repeats the theme of convention, getting all excited about the puppets and failing to recognise the real puppet-masters.
    Fact is, the US is broke, and its creditors, China, will call in the debts sooner or later. Why? Because the banking bailout scams have still gone unattended. The Mafia are green with jealousy at the clever, audacious and extreme criminality that's taken place on Wall Street and The City. The police are absent, and the people simply don't notice the wild bull charging full speed down the alley towards them. By the time they do, there will be no time to ask who let the beast out of the pen?
    ...Or demand appropriate penalty.
    Liberty is about to fall. Watch it tumble. No vote anywhere will help. Because the system is intransigent and sponsored entirely by people who do not seek your vote, and do not require it.

  • Comment number 98.

    Unfortunately, everyone is remembered for the bad, never the good. Obama has done his job. He has done his job incredibly well. He has turned the economy around from the horrid position Bush placed us in.

    As for the issues for this election, they are sad. So few vote on the important issues. So many want lower taxes and less governmental control, yet they want the government to do more to fix the economical crisis.

    The important issues are that the Obama administration has stabilized the economy which is by no means a small feat, important health care reforms have been made, and, quite arguably the most important, international relations have started to improve.

  • Comment number 99.

    Much the same as local elections in the UK. Called elections about local issues, almost always a referendum on the party in power, and as personal as it can be made to be. And with business men giving a lot of financial support to parties and candidates who they think will bring benefits to their business.
    The Bush tax cuts in the USA, that various politicians want extended benefit the very wealthy. And some how voting agaisnt Obama and for people who will do this has been sold to the not very well off americans.

  • Comment number 100.

    Just a thought for the Tea Party, the great American Dream of unlimited entrepreneurship and unregulated free markets seems to have got everybody in the mess we are in now. Maybe we are not fit to be left to look after ourselves?

 

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