Democrats brace for mid-term elections rout


WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party braced on Monday for an elections rout, as a wave of 11th-hour polls showed the Republican Party on course for big gains in Congress amid deep voter anger at the sour economy.
Obama, fearing a ballot-box repudiation just two years into his campaign for change, planned a wave of radio interviews and telephone calls to Democratic volunteers key to boosting party turnout on Tuesday, the White House said.
Feeding Democratic worries, the respected Gallup polling organisation’s final pre-vote survey of likely voters nationwide found Republicans held the most commanding mid-term lead either the US party has held in a generation.
Republicans led Democrats by a 55-40 percent margin, the widest such gap since the 1974 contest, when Democrats romped to victory amid public outrage at the Watergate scandal that forced disgraced president Richard Nixon from office.
The poll lent weight to analyst predictions that Republicans would retake the House of Representatives and slice deep into the Democratic’ Senate majority, though experts forecast the upper chamber would not change hands. The election for 37 Senate slots, 37 governorships and all 435 House seats, came as the euphoric hope Obama stirred in the 2008 White House race seemed an age away and with America’s trademark brash optimism drained by a narrative of national decline.
Republicans have vowed to reverse Obama’s sweeping health care reforms.