WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A rare burst of good news on President Barack Obama’s healthcare program has given Democrats their first glimmer of hope in months on an issue that has helped drag the party down ahead of November’s U.S. congressional elections.
A better-than-expected enrollment of 7.1 million people in healthcare exchanges under Obamacare gives Democrats a positive argument to counter relentless Republican calls for repeal of the law, and could help them change the topic to the bread-and-butter economic and job issues Democrats prefer to talk about.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight months before the November 4 elections, Republicans have expanded the number of competitive races for U.S. Senate seats and have a growing chance of gaining control of that chamber and stalling Democratic President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda.
Public dissatisfaction with the president, concerns about his healthcare overhaul and a sluggish economy, and a series of retirements by key Democratic senators in conservative states have made a rugged year for Democrats even more so, analysts and strategists in both parties say.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans must pick up a net of six seats from Democrats to regain control of the U.S. Senate in the November 4 elections. The key battles are likely to play out in these 13 states:
ALASKA – Democratic Senator Mark Begich is running for a second term in this conservative state, and three Republicans will compete in an August primary for the right to challenge him. Former state attorney general Dan Sullivan is the early favorite, and his fundraising has far outpaced that of the other two Republican candidates, Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and 2010 nominee Joe Miller.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Rand Paul, a potential 2016 White House contender, on Friday accused President Barack Obama of restricting civil liberties and urged conservatives to “stand with me” in electing a president who would protect personal rights.
In a starkly libertarian speech, the senator from Kentucky condemned National Security Agency electronic surveillance, detention without trial programs and what he said were other encroachments on civil rights under the Obama administration.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged conservative activists on Thursday to talk about what they are for, not just what they are against, and said Republicans need to focus on winning elections in addition to promoting their ideology.
In his first major appearance before Republicans since he was engulfed in a home-state scandal over political retribution in January, Christie led a parade of potential 2016 presidential contenders who laid out their visions for activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Aides in former President Bill Clinton’s White House crafted a strategy to “humanize” then-first lady Hillary Clinton and work around her “aversion” to the national media, according to documents released on Friday.
The documents also detailed the first lady’s struggles in the early 1990s with her healthcare task force, including worries about resistance on Capitol Hill and an aide’s warning the plan could not meet a pledge to allow patients to pick their doctors, a promise that also came back to haunt President Barack Obama.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – The November midterm elections are more than eight months away, but a battle for an open congressional seat in Florida has become a high-stakes test of a crucial question for the fall: how the Republican assault on President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul will play at the polls.
The race to succeed the late Republican Bill Young in a March 11 special election will not dramatically alter the balance of power in Congress, where Democrats face an uphill battle in November to gain the 17 seats they need to reclaim a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A conservative group that helped defeat an organizing campaign by the United Auto Workers in Tennessee will take its anti-union fight to other auto plants in the South, its leaders said on Monday.
The Center for Worker Freedom, which is linked to anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, plans to renew its battle against the UAW at plants in Alabama and Mississippi where the union wants to organize.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives appear increasingly unlikely to pass an immigration overhaul this year, preferring to focus their election-year strategy on a unified assault on President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.
House Speaker John Boehner hinted at that strategy on Thursday, when he expressed doubt to reporters that a sweeping revision of U.S. immigration laws would get through Congress this year because Republicans did not trust Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration to enforce any immigration laws Congress might write.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Spooked by President Barack Obama’s low approval ratings, some of his fellow Democrats in tough November election races have begun their campaigns by distancing themselves from the White House and asserting their independence from Obama’s policies.
In what amounts to a survival-first strategy among embattled Democrats crucial to the party’s effort to keep control of the Senate, some candidates in conservative states Obama lost in 2012 are aggressively criticizing his healthcare, energy and regulatory policies.