(by Calvin Woodward, YahooNews.com) AP, WASHINGTON – The Democratic Congress that enacted President Barack Obama’s far-reaching health care law and plowed staggering sums into economic relief is at risk Tuesday in an election that promises to shake up the political order across the nation.
Republicans…forecast a new era of shared governance, two years after Democrats sealed victory in the presidency, the House and the Senate and set about reshaping the agenda…. Democrats did not seriously dispute expectations that they would lose the House this time, even while campaigning through the final hours to stem losses.
His campaign travels over, Obama was giving interviews to radio hosts in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Jacksonville, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Honolulu and Miami – mostly cities in states where Democrats are either trailing or in tight re-election bids – for broadcast Tuesday as Americans vote. In one interview he pulled back from earlier remarks calling Republicans “enemies” of Hispanics. …..
The midterm elections are a prime-time test for [the tea-party], a force unheard of just two years ago. Tea party supporters rattled the Republican establishment in the primaries, booting out several veteran lawmakers and installing more than 70 candidates, nearly three dozen of whom are in competitive races Tuesday.
If successful, that conservative movement could come to Washington as a firewall against expansive federal spending, immigration liberalization and more, as well as a further threat to the…health care law that Republicans hope somehow to roll back.
In the middle-class Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Ohio, … nurse-attorney Joanne Sysack, 67, voted [early Tuesday morning]. She said she was hoping for a GOP resurgence to challenge the Obama administration. President Barack Obama won the four…precincts by wide margins in 2008. “I’d like to see a lot of this health care takeover repealed,” said Sysack, an independent who voted for John McCain in 2008.
Fred Peck, 48, who works in university campus maintenance, was in an anti-incumbent mood, voting against liberal Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich and unhappy with the Obama administration.
“I see nothing changing for the better,” said Peck, who voted against Obama two years ago. As for the economy, “I don’t see it improving, I really don’t,” he said.
Peck said his retirement account has dropped in value and his employer recently announced a 20 percent increase in health-care premiums. “I’ll be working until I’m 75,” he said.
Ohio Rep. John Boehner, in line to become speaker if Republicans win the House, promised Monday to hold weekly votes to cut federal spending, make jobs the top GOP priority and fight to repeal the health law. Former President Bill Clinton, campaigning for Democrats as if his own future were on the line, stumped late into the night in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Florida.
Republicans need 40 more seats to win the House, a goal that polls indicated they might achieve. Races for more than 100 of the 435 seats are competitive.
Republicans need a net gain of 10 to take the Senate, a tougher road that requires them to win every tight race. The GOP also made strong bids to add governors to their ranks and expand in state legislatures.
Voter mobilization efforts have been unfolding for weeks as more than 14 million Americans cast early ballots.
In Nevada, home of the hot Senate contest between Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and tea-party pick Sharron Angle, registered Democrats and Republicans came out early in similar numbers. In Pennsylvania, another battleground, more than half the early voters were Republican, by the latest count.
“I need you in the next few hours,” Reid told supporters at a rally Monday with first lady Michelle Obama. “Don’t hope someone else will work harder than you. You need to knock on that extra door. You need to make that extra phone call.”
Some races could go days or more without a winner, thanks to the multitude of expected close contests – in Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Alaska and more….
Hundreds of lawyers from both sides are ready to roll. This was a campaign marked by the ragged anger of partisans and caustic ads by candidates, now spilling into an Election Day that’s likely to lead to complaints of voting irregularities, fraud or machine meltdowns – and hair-trigger legal challenges.
One of the most unpredictable races was unfolding in Alaska, where Sen. Lisa Murkowski, upset in the GOP primaries by the tea party’s pick, Joe Miller, is trying to win by having voters write her name on the ballot. Democrats injected cash late in the campaign to try to lift their candidate, Scott McAdams, over the other two.
Voters in 37 states are electing governors. Among the most competitive: the contest in Ohio between Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and former Republican Rep. John Kasich.
AP writers Kristen Wyatt in Thornton, Colo., and Michael R. Blood and Cristina Silva in Las Vegas contributed to this report.
Copyright ©2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. The information contained in this AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Visit news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_campaign for the original post.
1. a) How many tea party candidates are running in elections across the country?
b) Approximately how many of these will be close races?
2. What will victorious tea party candidates do once they get to Washington?
3. What did Rep. John Boehner promise to do if Repubicans win the majority in the House?
4. It is believed that Republicans will win the majority in the House; however, winning majority in the Senate is not certain. How many seats do Republicans need to gain to win the majority in the Senate?
5. How many states have gubernatorial races this year?
6. Why might the outcome of some races take days to determine?
7. List the candidates running in your state. Who do you think would be the best choice in each race? (Find information on your state at studentnewsdaily.com/other/become-an-educated-voter. (Scroll down for a list of state election boards. Click on your state for information on races in your state.)
8. Does your state practice direct democracy through the ballot measure process? If so, what initiatives or referendums are on the ballot in the upcoming election? (find information on ballot measures in your state at the Initiative and Referendum website at iandrinstitute.org/statewide_i%26r.htm and at your state election board found through studentnewsdaily.com/other/become-an-educated-voter. (Scroll down for a list of state election boards. Click on your state for information on ballot measures in your state.)
Daily “Answers” emails are provided for Daily News Articles, Tuesday’s World Events and Friday’s News Quiz.