The mid-term electionsÂ are near. Many voters are anxious and angry at the current state of the economy, unemployment, and other issues. They’reÂ lookingÂ to the approaching Congressional Race for House of RepresentativesÂ on November 2, 2010 asÂ a last resortÂ for resolving many of the country’s most critical issues. This election has a sense of urgency for people toÂ get out and vote in this Democratic and Republican battle for control of the House.Â New JerseyÂ residents share theirÂ concerns.
Essex County, NJÂ DemocratsÂ Speak OutÂ Essex County Democratic Committee (ECDC) members were riled up at an annual dinnerÂ in West Orange, NJÂ Tuesday night.Â DespiteÂ some people’sÂ beliefÂ thatÂ the current Congress, whichÂ has a Democratic majority,Â is to blame for our problems, US Senator Robert MenendezÂ claimed otherwise.Â Â ”I think DemocratsÂ need to understand the challenges that are before us,” saysÂ Senator Menendez. “We need to stand up and be able to take on theÂ reality of what we largely have inherited.” He described theÂ problems that the current administration had been facingÂ beforeÂ entering office in November of 2008 and is currently working to improve issues such asÂ taxation, education, transportation, economic development, and funding for programs.Â The Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben BernankeÂ gave theÂ most chillingÂ facts to Menendez before taking office. â€œYou and your colleagues know that, within the next two weeks, we will have a global financial meltdownÂ if nothing is done?” MenendezÂ states the DemocratsÂ saved us fromÂ a financial melt down byÂ making tough choices andÂ cleaning up the mess that was left for us. They responded with the Recovery Act to put people backÂ to work, giving every working American a tax break and businesses tax credits so that they can “get back in the game.”
According to the Democratic Committee of Newark, NJ, Central Ward, federal funding for the town’s stimulus money, healthcare, Abbot Programs, and Social Services is at risk of being cut.Â â€œWe have a lot of people that rely on grants and federal funding,â€ said Chairman Andre Speight. With a Republican majority in the House, weÂ may notÂ be able to pass legislation that allocates these funds,â€ he says.
State Senator Ronald Rice and ECDC committee member Alfred McIntyre agrees. â€œWhoever is elected will help sculpture the direction and destiny of our lives,” he says.Â ”It is significant as to what resources, economically, are available and what legislation will get passed to benefit the communities that are struggling. A lot of people can be in pain,â€ saysÂ Rice.
Whatâ€™sÂ Happening in the RaceÂ All 435 HouseÂ seats, 37 Senate seats, and 37 of 50 state governorships areÂ up for election. Presently,Â the Democrats holdÂ 255 seats, Republicans 178,Â and there areÂ 2 vacancies. For a majority, a party would need to hold 290 seats. The Republicans need from 40 to 60Â House seats andÂ 10 Senate seatsÂ to gain control.Â Experts predict that the Republicans have a good chance of gaining control of the House. â€œThe question is, however,â€ says New Jersey City University Political Science Professor Francis Moran, â€œhow big of a loss are the democrats going to take?Â They have more seats that they will have to defend, and they wonâ€™t be able to do that,â€ he says. If the RepublicansÂ gain control, Obamaâ€™s policiesÂ on issues such as health care, the economy, and rebuilding the economic security of the middle class will possibly be altered.Â Locally, there are no contests for governor or senator in New Jersey, but all 13 HouseÂ seat are available. Polls have shown a tight race in the 3rd, 6th, and 12thdistricts in a Monmouth County University poll released last week. It projects Republican Jon Runyan leading by 48% to Democratic incumbent John Adler 43% in the 3rd District. A Rutgers-Eagleton survey also shows Adler tied with the former Philadelphia Eagles star Runyan at 44 percent.
Part of the ProblemÂ Many young voters from age bracket 18-29Â are less enthusiastic about the impending mid-term elections–the ageÂ bracket that was partially responsible for Obama’s victory.Â A HarvardÂ Institute study released last week showÂ 27% ofÂ the 2,004 people ages 18-29Â said they will definitely vote in the 2010 midterms. The number of young voters has decreasedÂ from two years ago. The Democratic Party is reaching out to voters, especially younger, Hispanic, and Black. They areÂ three constituencies crucial to the 2008 campaign for President. Every vote will make a difference. “If you donâ€™t vote, as far as Iâ€™m concerned, you donâ€™t have a right to complain.â€ says Senator Ronald Rice.