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November's midterms look increasingly bleak for the US Democrats

By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 2 Today's Independent reports on latest polling in the US in advance of the midterm elections in November and it's very bad news for Barack Obama and the Democrats.

"The respected Cook Political Report reckons that no less than 68 of the 256 House seats currently held by Democrats are at "substantial risk", compared to 58 in June, with, at most, 10 Republican seats in danger. A similar picture emerges from the latest "Crystal Ball" survey by Professor Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, which projects a net gain for Republicans of 47 seats, translating into a comfortable majority of 226 to 209.

"In the Senate, the Republican target of a gain of 10 to overturn the current 59-41 Democratic majority, also appears to be inching closer. Analysts now believe Republicans could pick up a net eight or nine seats – and if everything continues to fall their way, they could hit the required 10."

This would potentially hand control of both Houses to Republicans, making life very difficult for the President:

"A 1994-style landslide would make life even tougher for Mr Obama, in ways obvious and less obvious. Clearly he would have no chance of pushing his agenda through Congress; his adminstration would almost certainly be harrassed by investigations launched by Republican-led committees on Capitol Hill, just as the Clinton White House was by the Republican-controlled Congress from 1995."

However, the Independent's Washington correspondent concludes that it would not necessarily be plain sailing for the Republicans:

"A landslide would send many ultra-conservative, anti-establishment Tea Party-leaning Republicans to Washington for the first time, ready to defy not just Democrats but also their own leaders they regard as part of a detested status quo."


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