3 Nov 2010

GOP gains expected in US midterm elections

11:01 am on 3 November 2010

The Republican Party is expected to make large gains in the midterm elections in the United States on Tuesday.

The BBC reports the Democratic Party is expected to lose its majority in the House of Representatives and is struggling to keep the Senate.

President Barack Obama has retreated from the campaign trail and was to spend the day at the White House in meetings. He campaigned on Sunday in the key state of Ohio.

The Democrats face losing up to six House seats, one Senate race and the governorship in Ohio.

Republicans hope to capitalise on voters' discontent with the economy.

Up for election on Tuesday are all 435 House seats, 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate, governorships of 37 of the 50 states and all but four state legislatures.

The Republican Party needs to gain 39 House seats to win control of the lower chamber of Congress and 10 to take over the Senate.

Democrats hope to hold on to the Senate by one or two seats.

You blew it - Palin

Tea Party favourite Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008 and a former governor of Alaska, said in a TV appearance on Sunday that Tuesday's vote would be a political earthquake.

She said voters would tell the president and the Democrats: You blew it, President Obama. We gave you the two years to fulfil your promise of making sure that our economy starts roaring back to life again.

Republican House leader John Boehner, who stands to replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as the House Speaker if the polls bear out, acknowledged the economic problems did not start under President Obama.

But instead of fixing them, his policies have made them worse, he said.