June 1st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What stories will shape debate going into midterm elections?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the midterm elections only months away, Americans are fed up with both major political parties.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/13/art.elephant.donkey.jpg caption=" "]
A new Gallup Poll shows near record-low favorable ratings for both Democrats and Republicans. The GOP has a measly 36 percent favorable rating - that's only five points above their all-time low in 1998 when the Republican-led Congress voted to impeach President Clinton.

The Democrats aren't much better. Their favorable rating is only 43 percent - just a couple points higher than their record low, which came during the recent health care debate.

Gallup says that low ratings don't usually occur for both parties simultaneously. Typically when one is down, the other is up. But this just goes to show you how disgusted Americans are with politicians of all stripes these days.

Meanwhile in a piece called "Stories that Could Rock the Summer," Politico looks at some of the issues that could shake up the elections in the next couple of months.

At the top of the list, no surprise: The Gulf oil spill - which could continue into August.

Then there's hurricane season - which is expected to be "very aggressive" and could once again put the focus on the government's preparedness, or lack thereof, for a natural disaster. Plus, don't forget all those other oil wells in the Gulf where the hurricanes blow.

There's also the possibility of a summertime terrorist attack which could certainly affect the midterms... and of course there's the economy. History suggests if unemployment is in double digits, that's bad news for the party in power. Right now we're hovering just below 10 percent. And we'll get a big jobs report on Friday.

Here’s my question to you: What stories will shape the debate going into the fall's midterm elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Carol in Northampton, Massachusetts writes:
To coin a cliché, it's the economy, Jack. Anger and even fear have a way of disappearing when the pockets are full.

Joe in North Carolina writes:
I'm of a mind, like most, that we should throw out all the incumbents. While I don't trust them any better, I'm also in favor of having the GOP have control of the Congress, since history has shown us that when one party has full control, things just tend to go from bad to worse.

Richard in Washington writes:
The gulf spill is the big story. I am a big Obama fan but I am not feeling too good about how he is dealing with this. He needs to plant the White House in Louisiana until the crisis is over instead of vacations in Chicago. The governor needs him there 24/7. I am disappointed. I just don't understand why presidents continue to fail when most needed.

Nancy in Michigan writes:
While I hope that the debate will be over substantive issues like the ones you mentioned, it is far more likely that they will find some trivial issue to argue, twist, and lie about. Neither party has a foot to stand on when it gets down to important issues. There are no easy answers, and no one has the guts to give us the hard truth!

Kent in Pennsylvania writes:
Being unemployed for the last year only serves to bring Bill Clinton's prophetic words into focus: "It's the economy, stupid." The midterm elections will start to clean out the greedy, spineless poll-watchers in Congress. I'm from Pennsylvania and I'm proud as hell to see Specter riding his rocking chair.

Lucy in New York writes:
The oil disaster will be number one, even if they cap it next week, but health care, which was forced down our throats, will make a huge difference in who is elected.

Tom in California writes:
I have finished eating my apple pie and I think that the stories that will shape the debate of the midterm elections will be: the health care bill, the Arizona immigration bill, the oil disaster and the national debt. At work, I am the boss so I can go on the "Cafferty File" blog whenever I want.

Filed under: Democrats • Elections • GOP • Gulf oil spill • Senate and Congress
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. David Barton

    As if today, considering it's still early, our top stories contributing to the fall debates might be:

    1) Oil spill in the gulf and alternative energy
    2) US support for Israel
    3) Arizona immigration & crime
    4) Activism [Tea Party supported candidates vs Tea Party tactics]
    5) Bail-outs, finance reform, and government spending
    6) States rights
    7) The idea of a broken government – who's to blame?

    David Barton,
    White Settlement, Texas

    June 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  2. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    The real story appears to be that the GOP is truly the "party of no" – no ideas to improve Americans' lives, no intelligent arguments to support their so-called positions, and no inclination to pitch in and help dig this country out of the mess we are in. What a shame.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  3. John from Alabama

    Jack: Those who enjoy the point an blame game will do their worst with the oil spill, the tea party lets repeal health care reform group, those who speak hate, and preach hate will be very loud. Those who want to move forward with a new balanced energy policy, reform immigration, and make social security solvent will not be heard, because those shooting the bull are nasty and hateful.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Jim SFret

    The lead story used to be "Lower Taxes" and "Simpler/Constitutional Government" by the conservatives.

    Now it's just "How do we keep our party in power" in Arkansas.

    What a mess. It's back to "What's in it for me".

    June 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  5. bob z fr ,pa.

    health care bill amnesty spending defecit and #1 jobs

    June 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  6. Peg from N.Y.

    Tea Party crap and stories created to make alot look like President Obama has failed when, in fact, the past administration and their deregulations are at the root of far too much.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Hugo Kijne, Hoboken NJ

    The oil spill, the chaos that will follow the US retreat from Iraq, and Europe's abandoning the Euro.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  8. Kevin of CA

    The debate will be the need to militarize the USA/Mexican border to shut off the systematic destruction of decent wages, and the continued growth of the welfare state in our Country!

    Also the need to cut off all funding to Israel until they move back behind their own borders and quit terrorizing the West Bank, and Gaza!

    We also need to level the playing field of Mortgage finance to give those of us who have good credit the same opportunities for low interest loans so that we can add to our already stable portfolios before the cancer of corporate, and state welfare destroys all private property in the USA!

    June 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  9. Tony from Southport

    One story will be the failure of Washington to listen to the American people regarding the overwhelming debt and increased spending by this administration, and the so-called health care reform bill for which our great grandchildren will be paying. This midterm election will decide whether America was a successful experiment, or if it will go the way of other governments that fell into the socialist/communist way of life. I'm rooting for America but I don't have much faith in the American people's ability to see through the left wing spin machine from Chicago.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  10. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Out of control washington on Debt Debt Debt

    June 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  11. Kimmy in North Carolina

    I have always been one to vote for the person not the Party. But this weekend, our wonderful leader could not be at Arlington for Memorial day? It is my understanding that he is the first president not to be in attendance. All Democrats should be up in arms over this insult to or men and woman in uniform. I feel like such a jerk for voting for Obama... a ball game is more important than our service men and women who lost their life for our freedom??
    I know I will not be voting for ANY Democrat in the mid terms –

    June 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  12. steve in florida

    I think the biggest stories will come out of the Teaparty woodwork. We've already seen several tea-baggers turn out to be loose leaf. I think the biggest battle will be the more moderate and palatable captains of the GOP trying to regain the helm before all those "Real Americans" steer them into a political iceberg.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  13. Heather from Indiana

    The midterm elections will be shaped around the fact that Republicans always vote and stand for corporations, and against the American people and our interests...roll tape!

    June 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  14. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    Jack, the midterms focus on the economy, illegal immigration, border security and War Against Global Terrorism. I hope America wakes up and gives every incumbant the boot for refusing to listen to Americans or honor their oath of office.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  15. JENNA

    What stories will shape the debate going into the fall's midterm elections?

    Anything the right wingers want..

    However, they better be careful because modern times are a wonderful thing. We have audio and video of them doing NOTHING on the subjects that they are whining about and it will come to smack them in their faces.

    Roseville CA

    June 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  16. Maria

    Economy, gov't transparency, Afghanistan withdrawal, maybe Israel, economy, oil spill, green energy sources, economy, small businesses, economy, wall street oversight, budget loopholes, economy.



    June 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  17. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    the nutsy stances of some tea partiers; the lack of vision and actions other than stalling of the G-No-Pers; the lack of good leadership at the RNC; the lack of luster for challengers to Obama in 2012; the lies of Faux news; and the strides that Dems have made at advancing their legislation despite all these failed attacks. Americans see through the mud.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  18. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I think issues like healthcare and the voting record of any incumbent on the subject will be front and center. Anyone who supported it and the manner in which it was rammed through Congress better pack their bags. Another, will be Arizona. They better be mindful that the majority of Americans support Arizona and the federal government actually enforcing the existing law. They are against amnesty or amnesty-lite, a path to citizneship for those here illegally. They are concerned about the out-of-control deficit spending in Congress and are looking for people who don't want to burden future generations with massive debt because we couldn't make the hard choices now. Now is the time.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  19. Don (Ottawa)

    I don't know what stories will shape the debate going into the mid-term elections, but what should be on the agenda is the impact of big business on government; how it got that way, and who is going to get us out of it. Another important debate that we probably won't see is our support to Israel even when Isreali actions are detrimental to peace. Finally, what about Guantanemo and the wars? What we will probably end up taking about is a fence along the Mexican border and constitutional amendments against gay marriage and for English as the national language.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  20. Jayne

    Does it matter? So many Democrats act like Republicans we'll never make any progress in this country. They watered down health care, watered down financial reform and even went along with drill baby, drill. Voters might as well shoot at a dart board and hope for the best.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  21. Barbara Leavitt

    It's this administrations 'cavalier' attitude that is leaving me cold, point in fact...the airplane bomber, Ft. Hood, the oil spill, along with several other instances. It takes the President 3 or 4 days to comment, let alone take any action. We've had the health care we have for decades, the year they spent on that debacle should have been spent on ways to get the American people back to work.
    Henderson, Nevada

    June 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  22. Jill

    The Economy...

    June 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  23. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    It all depends on the economy. If it goes down, and unemployment is in the double digits then that will be items 1-5. However, if things shape up, it will be all about immigration and regulation (of Wall Street, energy companies, to-big-to-fail companies).

    June 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  24. Bert Oak View, CA

    I hope the story will be a “Path to Repatriation” back to where ever someone came from, instead of a “Path to Citizenship”.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  25. Marlene

    It should be jobs, jobs, jobs. Congress members seeking re-election should talk about that issue and make it the most important. Marlene in Mich

    June 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  26. Simon/Orlando

    The demise of the European model of socialism. I think that people will see the that the debt incurred by the entitlements of government workers is going to bring this country down just like Greece. It has already started in a few states like New Jersey, New York, and California where they are going broke trying to pay the retirement costs of their state workers.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  27. Wendye McGehee

    America's cont. dependence on fossil fuels–(which is pt. of what's destroying our world economy)...and our American support of the slow genocide that Israel is perpetrating over in Gaza–no wonder the people over there hate us...Enough is enough!

    June 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  28. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    There are many but some that come to mind is lack of job creation, lack of immigration reform, lack of a good health care bill, the oil leak and long term effects. Throw in some of the moral issues of some of these so called leaders and two wars with no way to pay for either of them which will lead to higher deficit and eventual bankruptcy. That's a good start.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  29. Joanne

    Where the hell have leadership skills gone ?
    Economy, Jobs
    Gulf Oil Spill
    How dumb the OBama Adm is.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  30. Stephen H Smith

    The unworthy stories from the fringes of reality.

    Fredericksburg, VA

    June 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  31. Kathie

    The failure of congress and Obama to secure our ports and borders, stop the influx of illegal aliens, the failure to take action in the gulf coast disaster, the failure of any bipartisonship, just saying "no", the failure to accomplish anything past health care reform (which will benefit the insurance and drug companies), the failure to uphold the promise of open/transparent government, the failure to hold those responsible for our economic collapse and the gulf coast disaster accountable, run-a-way spending with no thought of a little thing called fiscal responisiblity. That's a start.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  32. Bert Oak View, CA

    I hope one of the stories will be a “Path to Repatriation” back to where ever an Illegal came from,instead of a “Path to Citizenship”.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  33. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, the economy is still the big issue, although seeing if real independents will fall for the Tea Party propaganda will be the big media focus.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  34. Conor in Chicago

    If you are on the left the story will be "How Obama let us down".

    If you are on the right it will be "How Obama is destroying America".

    If you lean left it will be "How Bush destroyed America and Obama is cleaning up as best he can".

    If you lean right it will be "How Obama is destroying America".

    If you are in the political middle you will actually think about this question before answering. Most on this forum will not think about this question and spew talking points from their respective corporate media. To me, that is the story that should be front and center in this upcoming election cycle: How disinformed everybody is. Not uniformed, disinformed.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  35. Paul Austin, Texas

    The oil spill, Mexican border security, and last but not least term limits to vote the bums out two terms and out.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  36. Dee

    I hope one story will be the total failure of the Congress to pass legislation extending unemployment benefits to the thousands who are now without money for food for their kids!

    June 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  37. Cy Gardner

    I am hoping that the Democrats will be able to show people how they have been on the side of consumers, employees and average Americans. I hope that the mainstream media will not obscure the fact that the GOP's solutions to our nation's problems have consisted of : A) What problems? B) tax cuts for the rich! C) Let corporations do whatever they want no matter the consequences D) tax cuts for the rich!. and E) Kill the messenger!!! cy from arlington, va

    June 1, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  38. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Unemployment,the Gulf Oil Crisis and its' handling,taxes,the White House and the Sestak issue,illegal aliens and an immigration policy, and how the President didn't deliver on many of his campaign promises.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  39. Ann from Hampton, NJ

    Where does one start? The horrible health care bill, the Louisiana Katrina, not building a fence to stop illegals from coming into this country, people losing their homes, the high rate of unemployment. I am sure there are a lot of other stories that will topple the Democrats come the fall.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  40. james wardlaw

    Just about any lie the Tea Party puts on the net. I think there more than just tea at a Tea Party.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  41. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    It won't be that Al Qaida has been castrated. It won't be that a second Great Depression has been averted. It won't be that Teddy Roosevelt's dream of national health care has finally been achieved. It won't be that women now have a legal right to equal pay. It will be that the president has created millions of jobs.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  42. Gail, Plano TX

    All of the above! The Party of NO will zero in on anything and everything to secure election. But I think the main issue for them will be maligning and bashing the President. They hate him so, it is pathetic. They are jealous that a man of color is more intelligent and astute than they are. The members of the GOP are despicable. I have never voted Republican in my life, an accomplishment I am very proud of.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  43. Kirk Neuman (Apple Valley, MN

    Perhaps if the GOP were to actually cooperate with the Democrats, they might stand a better chance in November. But if all the GOP can do is stall, stall, bitch, stall, stall, then they won't win anything.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  44. RickFromDetroit

    Too soon to tell what will shape the midterm elections. The majority of voters will watch the news and read the headlines a couple of weeks before the elections and then after two to three weeks of their personal decision making on who to vote for, they will cast a vote for a candidate to represent them for the next four years.

    Our political structure and economy both operate like a see – saw and we never seem to agree on any long term policies. Our fabulous two party system wastes most of their time and our tax dollars stalling between elections, and for the most part, they accomplish absolutely nothing.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  45. Richard Texas

    I think the democrats will boast their heath care reform despite not knowing if it will be a good thing or not. After all it isn't going to happen until 2014 so we don't know what the end result is going to be for decades to come.

    The republicans will argue being fiscally conservative and the high deficit when in fact they are no more conservative then the democrats. Our government became fiscally irresponsible under both administrations and neither has a plan to get us out of the mess they themselves created.

    With 2 wars going and no real end in sight, BP destroying the environment and our own government destroying our own economy through wasteful spending it is likely those topics won't come up much.

    In conclusion this leads me to believe that the Mid Term election will be just more of the same with a few new faces elected and sitting down right next to all of the old ones and that just doesn't look very pretty for our future as a nation.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  46. Terry from Illinois

    JOBS, JOBS, JOBS... the GOP passed tax cuts for companies "outsourcing" jobs from America during their control and now its been 1.5 years of Democrats control and nothing... No reversal of the tax cuts, No changes to NAFTA and other Global trade agreements, No changes to penalize companies "outsourcing", Nothing...

    Who will help the working American? The Republicans screwed workers during their control and the Democrats continue the same policies...
    The elctions have become a joke !!!

    June 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  47. KDS Irvine, CA

    Oil spill in the gulf, the bad economy, government's lack of doing anything productive this year. We're all fed up and were going to send the politicians home.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  48. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, the biggest story is that the voters are FED UP with incumbents of ANY party! Those running for reelection are facing a harder time than their challengers, and if that trend holds there is hope that the next Congress will pay more attention to "we the people" rather than "we the selfish interests" or their party officials.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  49. carole s

    Change we can count on. What will the next sloagan be that this ignorant country falls for..... Debate that do nothing politicians

    June 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  50. R

    Illegal Immigration.....

    June 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  51. honest john in vermont

    The Gulf Oil Deluge will continue to be # 1. Very close will be the economy which is still sick and this is no longer Bush's legacy–it is now Obamas and the Democrats who own it. The little they have accompolished clearly shows and we now have more unemployed than we know what to do with and more job cuts coming.

    We need a massive infusion of dollars and imagination to build new jobs and at the same time controls to reign in Wall Streets gambling casino mentality..."heads I win, tails I win."

    And we need to put back the regulations on banks that were trashed in de-regulation.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  52. katiec Pekin, IL

    The biggest story and concern should be the Republicans parfty goals of destroy our president, undying support for big business, party first, win at any cost and obstruct everything regardless of merits and/or benefits.
    Never before in the history of our country have we had a politicial party conduct such a lack of responsibility and ignoring the welfare of our country and us.
    Their hypocritical, almost criminal actions should be headlined daily.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm |

    There are too many lobbist in (D.C.) and each month there are more,As long as the lobbist controll D.C. we will never be able to trust anyone in the W.H.!!!!!It can only get worst

    June 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  54. Gigi Oregon

    Well Jack, I hope the press will stop their fear strategy which is causing once normal people into raving mad dogs. And get some positive approach to the campaign and let "we the people" think quietly and rationally. Like "how much are the illegal aliens needed for the work force doing the jobs healthy unemployed citizens won't take". Or how can we clean up the U.S. side of the war on drugs and enforce our responsibilities. Maybe we could put electric "bob wire" around cotton fields and let the prisoners pick cotton in the Arizona sun.
    Let's just slow down. Day at a time Jack, day at a time. Live today and let tomorrow take care of it's self.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  55. Jim in Alabama

    Well, as usual, it will be taxes with the Republicans and I suppose that they will also try and hang the BP disaster on him as well. The real issues should be unemployment, the mortgage mess, the economy and both the ongoing wars.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  56. Peter From

    Even the average lazy person can now see that Obama is all talk and no action. The Gulf Coast is dying and Obama is doing virtually nothing. CNN reports every day they see NOBODY cleaning up or even protecting the senstive marsh areas. Clearly Change that Nobody Can Believe In.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  57. ZionMari

    What We, the People need to remember is........

    1. The Republicans ran the "car" into the ditch and want the keys back! Do you really want the Republican-obstructionists who hoped that a U.S. president would fail back in power?

    2. We, the People need to recall what Obama has been able to do for US, one example is healthcare that will prevent 45,000 Americans from dying each year.

    Etc., etc. in NOvember vote NO for the Party of NO!

    PS. what a hypocrite Gov. Perry of TX is! He was bragging he did not accept Stimulus money, but ended up ACCEPTING Stimulus money for Texas!

    June 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  58. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Should the question be "what stories will shape the midterm elections" or "what facts (emphasis added) should shape the midterm elections"? This question goes to the root cause of problems with politics in America today where the emphasis is on the "stories" as opposed to the facts.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  59. Fran Cassanto

    I think the media should present stories and questions about how successful the Obama administration has been so far cleaning the mess that Bush and Cheney, et al made for eight years. This oil spill is the result of the secret energy deal Cheney made with the oil companies and their deregulation. Also, Haliburton is involved??

    Spring City, Pennsylvania

    June 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  60. Otley Bethel

    Wow! First we have too much big government, and now we think the government is not involved enough. Really! People get a life. What can anyone else do, you have the people who specialize in this working on it, and they can't stop it. So you think we should let the Government take it over and listen to everyone talk about how much money is being spent. This President can't win for losing, what good would it do to have him down here stroking our head. He's in Washington, doing what he can with a situation that is unprecedented.
    For the government to take this over would be as big of a mistake as America's listening to half of the idiots saying they should.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  61. Ralph Spyer

    War in the middle east ,Israeli start a war with Iran.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  62. Gilbert West

    More than likely it will be something very petty and trite. The republicans simply are no longer capable of a presentation of relevant issues. Representatives on both sides are afraid to face real issues, i.e., all the unnecessary problems that Israel continues to cause in the Middle-East. Yeah, yeah, Israel has a right to exist. We've heard it all before. They do not, however, have the right to exist at the expense of world peace. For 5,000 years these people have been nothing but trouble. Everywhere they have gone, they had to be dealt with because of their arrogant and recalcitrant disregard for the rights of others. Yet, it is the American tax-payer whol is on the hook for all the expense of maintaining this criminal apartheid state. If this problem is not addressed, who really cares what else the politicians talk about?

    June 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  63. Loren, Chicago

    What shapes it depends on what happens. My feeling is that nothing is going to make a difference for incumbents if the Tea Party has its way. That's become my call to arms: "Vote Them All Out".

    June 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  64. Ronald Holst

    Gee Jack what will determine the out come of the midterm election I bet it will not be on any of the major Issues but what ever the Tea party Nuts want to lie about and make an issues out of nothing .I bet just before the election some tea party nut will try to get Obama arrested for being an illegal immigrant and then sue the government for not enforcing a paper please type of case.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  65. Doc Price

    Take your pick, Jack. The Economy, Jobs, Immigration, National Security, the Environment, Partisan Politics, you name it!!This is by far the most Un American Administration and Congress to date! Everyone seems to be out there politicking for money, saying anything that this particular group, lobby, or organization wants to hear to get their money, and pay lip service to the American Public. Our president is a modern Nero, and America is Burning! The national debt will never get paid back, all countries that used to be loyal to us are running away, and our National Security Policy seems to be LUCK ONLY! The only jobs to look forward to include the phrase "Do you want fries with that?" or "Si, me Amigo!" Any law abiding citizen of this country that disagrees with any Washington or Liberal policy is labled a Bigot, a Racist, a Subversive, a Terrorist, or just plain Un American. Term limits do not need to be legislated by Congress, the American Voter gets that option every TWO YEARS!! Time to CLEAN HOUSE!!

    Doc Price
    Moore, Oklahoma

    June 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  66. Linda Richards

    Dumb ones that the media is obsessed with. I still can't figure out why a couple dozen people with guns in VA (and not the thousands expected) was the top story of the day or why I have to hear every single thing Sarah Palin ever says or does–along with an in-depth analysis of it.
    Since there is no truth in ad campaigning the issues will be decided based on how much air time is bought, how effective the meanest ads are and how bizarre an ad is–shooting for bizarre or scary enough to make the news.
    The issues are totally unimportant. It's all about celebrities (and fear) these days, whether discussed by movie stars, reporters or politicians.
    Linda in Woodbury, NJ

    June 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  67. Pete from Georgia

    "Stories" won't be a factor.......................FACTS will !!
    Facts about corruption, arrogance, false agendas, deceit, total new and exciting ways of insulting taxpayers intelligence, and last but not least a level of DEBT that can only be described as criminal and immoral.
    And the sad, sad part is...............................there's more.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  68. Joseph Leff

    As Benjamin Disraeli said: "lies, damned lies and statistics."

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    June 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  69. vivfrom NY

    One thing is constant the repubicans remain the party of no good ideas. Just say no will not win it. We already seen the result of their ideas – letting oil companies do what they want and big banks – dril baby drill not quite working out now is it ?

    You name it, they oppose it: civil rights, women’s rights, raising the minimum wage, health care , public school education, reproductive rights, Medicare, Medicaid.
    So what ever you want to complain about Obama at least he moving us forward not backward into stagnation. His biggest mistake has been when he tries to please them.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  70. calaurore9

    These are all interesting scenarios, but to coin a cliche, it's the economy, Jack. Anger and even fear have a way of disappearing when the pockets are full.

    Carol in Northampton, Massachusetts

    June 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  71. david

    Obama is getting one chance after another to be the greatest president in History, but he is blweing them up...If we can't make peace now, it will never be peace...but that's OBAMA...He can't fix the economy, he can't fix immigration, he can't end the wars, he can't engage the whole country resources to kill the spill in the gulf, he can't close gitmo...HOPE!!!CHANGE!!!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  72. Bob in NC

    Unfortunately the oil spill in the gulf might take a quick back seat to more global events and the current leadership's inability to respond. North Korea, Iran, and the recent situation developing in Israel highlight the vacuum in the State Department. These situations will only deteriorate as we head toward a pair of renegade extremist governments hurling nuclear weapons toward their hated foes. On a little less scary scale – the EU will collapse and trigger global economic hysteria. The dollar will become worthless, and elections in November will be cancelled due to an inability to count the votes. Giving that prediction – everything's lookin' good for the incumbents!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  73. Mysterious

    Remind America who brought us to this point in American history. Here's a hint: January 2001-January 20, 2009, 11:59 just before noon.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  74. joe m

    you mean these things you mentioned aren't enough? we've gone from bad to mediocre, a mess to a clutter, and gigantic debt to unfathomable endenturedness. i'm of the mind, like most, that we should throw out all the incumbents. while i don't trust them any better, i'm also in favor of having the GOP have control of the congress, since history has shown us that when one party has full control things just tend to go from bad to worse. sometimes i think we'd be better off with five year olds running things in washington. God help us.


    June 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  75. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I think it will be the Senate and Congress and just how lousy a job they both have done for the American people. In my forty years of voting this has got to be the worst bunch of elected officials that I've ever saw. The people who fought and died in WWI and WWII would turn over in their graves to see what a damn mess our elected officials have gotten our country into. Sorry and lousy does not even come close to saying how bad this congress is. Their only concern is how much money they can squeeze out of the lobbyist to stuff their pockets with, what a shame that it is all about them and to hell with the people that elected them. We need to throw the scum bags out of office,ever last one of them.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  76. Richard

    The gulf spill is the big story. I am a big Obama fan but I am not feeling to good about how he is dealing with this. He needs to plant the white house in Louisiana until the crisis is over instead of vacations in Chicago. The governor needs him there 24/7. I am disappointed. I just don't understand why Presidents continue to fail when most needed.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  77. Michael in Phoenix

    There is nothing that can happen that will change my mind. Our government officials are all incompetent and need to be replaced.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  78. Jim Blevins

    Jobs, jobs and jobs.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  79. Kevin in CA

    Hmmmm... perhaps the following: The economy , healthcare, immigration, and the mother-of-all oil slicks.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  80. Craig in Illinois

    The economy.
    The wars.
    The oil spill.
    The illegal alien invasion.
    Sarah palin's neighbor, ha ha.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  81. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    It matters little what we feel about politics because the campaigns are funded – or not – by corporate greed.

    What is certainly the biggest question is: how many of our elected officials get more money from honoraria than the do from their paycheck?

    Why do candidates spend millions on running for offices that pay them only a small fraction of their campaign costs alone?

    Honestly, NSA, we're bugging the wrong phones!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  82. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    While I hope that the debate will be over substantive issues like the ones you mentioned, it is far more likely that they will find some trivial issue to argue, twist, and lie about. Neither party has a foot to stand on when it gets down to important issues. There are no easy answers, and no one has the guts to give us the hard truth!!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  83. David Moss

    Jack, this will be the year of independents and the new parties. Voters are disgusted with the Democrats and Republicans, as am I. Record spending, record debt, record acrimony, and just wait 'til we have record bad weather and eco-disasters this summer. We need a Canadian or British Parliamentary system with multiple parties, multiple choices, and the ability to throw the bums out with a no-confidence motion on a moment's notice. God Bless America – 'cause we desparately need HIS help and blessing!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  84. ronvan

    Jack: OUR President has so much on his plate that it is hard to put importance on any of them. They are ALL #1 priorities! The fact that WE the american people cannot come together to agree on anything, like our "elected children" will be felt for centuries.

    Van – Columbus GA.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  85. Ron Scaggs

    Answering the lies put out by republicans about health care and finance reform. Get Obama off his derriere on the mix-up in granting surface coal mining permits in WV. Lots of jobs and general economy at stake here.


    June 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  86. Lois in Florida

    Not the things that SHOULD shape the election: the lack of regulation of the oil industry (thanks to Cheney), the financial debacle (thanks to the Bush administration and Paulson) and the fact that this President is handling it. I would hate to think of what his lacking predcessor would have done with all this. Obama is doing the best he can with the miserable cards he has been dealt.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  87. Pam holt

    Foley,al. Forget stories. The results of this oil spill will be so devastating by then, and Obama will be blamed . All I can say is that bush and obama can walk hand in hand , with this nightmare. It"s the perfect time for independents to run for offices, including the next presidency!!!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  88. Kent Ruth

    Being unemployed for the last year only serves to bring Bill Clinton's prophetic words into focus: "It's the economy, stupid." The midterm elections will start to clean out the greedy, spineless poll-watchers in Congress. I'm from Pennsylvania I'm proud as hell to see Specter riding his rocking chair.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  89. Abel P. Ochoa, McAllen, TX

    What stories will shape the debate going into the fall's midterm elections?

    The main story will be about the American people versus the greedy corporations in America. It's always the same old story but we're always being confused by the powerful lobbyists that corporations hire.

    I'm talking about the Oil, Insurance, Wall Street, Pharmaceuticals, etc., corporations. The American people will probably continue with the status quo and work to vote out all the incumbents, thinking that'll solve their problems. It won't!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  90. JOE CE

    Things move to quickly these days to say. Right now the Oil Leak, Isreal, and terrorism would be big. The Dems don't know how to publicize their terrorism accomplishment. OF coure it would help, if they controlled the ports & borders.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  91. Gary Las Vegas

    I think many people who are out of work will remember how eager our so called leaders were to bail out Wall St. and the banks, but hated to spend a little momey to help people who were laid- off and had trouble feeding their families. Also, any of these politicians who protect the Federal Reserve from a complete audit, are showing where they are getting their re-election money. Anyone getting their backing by banks and the Federal Reserve is not going to stand up for the little people.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  92. James Conn

    The oil spill will be interesting, Spin, spin, spin. Obama didn't act fast enough ( Kind of like a fire happen in the neighborhood and all the neighbors are suppose to dive in. The only fire department is BP.) If we spend a lot of money then someone will holler about the deficit. (Why bankrupt the whole nation to bail out those in need) My heart goes out to those effected, but watch the spin artist use this as a distraction for political gains. Jim, Logansport

    June 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  93. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Assuming that the gulf oil leak is stopped by then, the election will be mainly about the economy. In project management, we jokingly define the "five phases", the last two being "reward the undeserving" and "punish the innocent." Too often, this has also been the story of mid-term Congressional elections. In fact, the failures in Washington of the past two years have actually been due to 41 Republican Senators, and the cure would be 60 or more real Obama Democrats instead. The bureaucracy still does not work because more than 207 Obama appointees await Senate action, and the Right Wing Senators "no" are also responsible for a too small economic stimulus, financial reform too little and too late, health care reform too weak, and delayed rejection of too many failed policies set in law under the previous Administration. We shall see whether those actually guilty are actually punished this time, contrary to the usual outcome.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  94. Ron in Sequim, WA

    Issues shaping the upcoming mid-term elections will continue to be the economy (especially jobs), the Gulf of Mexico oil clean up debacle, America’s continued loss of stature on the world stage as well as immigration and the challenges between federal and state’s rights. President Obama needs to stop trying to bring big government into every aspect of America’s daily life and focus on federal issues. Let the states and municipal governments attend to their neighborhoods.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  95. Lucy Muller

    The oil spill response will be number one, because President Obama took too long and too unemotionally to respond. Even today, he should be down there, talking to residents and workers.
    The second issue will be health care reform. Many Ameicans did not feel that Obama cared what they thought about the present reform bill. No one likes to feel ignored.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  96. jerry

    jack – i think people are down right sick of the way the goverment runs our country . here we have the biggest oil spill ever and our president would rether go on vacation to me it seems that nothing will ever get done in office when it comes to big things like this . so for me i think people will not be voteing for either party this year i think you will see the biggest drop in voters from here on out people are tired of all the lies . thank you

    June 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  97. santa maria, california

    I will be voting entirely on the issue of illegal immigration. Whoever is the strongest against it will get my vote. I am in CA and everything here is affected by the hordes of illegals we have using and abusing services, healthcare, education, jobs, right down the list. If we don't get a handle on the problem then there is no hope for the state. Half our budget shortfall can be tied to illegal immigration. We need to do what Arizona has done. Don't be fooled, a majority thinks L.A. and S.F. are off their rockers with this boycott thing. I hope Arizona continues to stand tall. We will be watching

    June 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  98. James W.

    Jack, my major concern that will determine my vote, is our elected officials doing more to protect the employment and social well being of illegal immigrants than American citizens.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  99. Frank N. Cape Coral, FL

    Nothing has changed, the health care reform bill is not finished yet, there are lot of angry people over this issue, foreign policy is unclear, Iran and it's nuclear threat is going to heat up, time is running out, it will be too late when Iran has nuclear power, Korea is itching for a war, that is what Washington will not admit too, is Obama and his administration prepared to handle these issue, I don't know yet and midterm I would be looking to find those politicians who maybe capable of facing these coming issue.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  100. John in NY

    There is nothing that can happen that will change my mind. Our government officials are all incompetent and need to be replaced.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  101. Jane - WI

    Lots of issues to discuss for the mid-term. The back door deals and bribes of jobs to Congress members from this administration of "change". The ineptness of the response to the oil leak. The out of control spending by this Congress. The unpopular health insurance bill that was rammed through by this congress and President, which a majority of the public wants repealed. Illegal immigration, which the vast majority of the country opposes, but for some odd reason this administration (and even some republicans) want to let slide and even allow a "path to citizenship" - rewarding those who chose to break our laws. Lots of issue. Which one to pick is difficult

    June 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  102. Timothy

    Jack. Oil, Oil and more Oil. The Republicans will blame the entire oil situation on the Democrats and Obama. They will say that prosecution or the oil companies are just a diversion.

    All of this is a direct result of the Bush Administration's destruction of Federal Law and Regulation for the sake of profits.

    I am beyond sad.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  103. Alex Landi Mt.Shasta, CA

    Jack-A huge issue, and one that is getting bigger every day, is illegal immigration. The Democrats under Obama want to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants and this could hurt them at the polls. The GOP should stop worrying about the "Hispanic vote" and start pushing for what's best for the country. This issue could be the deciding factor in many congressional races come November.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  104. Diane in MO

    Briefly...issues with devastating effects on the minds of people everywhere:
    Bailout bill (yes, "still")
    Healthcare bill...
    Influenza “scare" farce...
    Financial Reform bill (in the making)...
    Last, but certainly not least, the Gulf oil spill!

    We elect politicians...lobbyists buy them off. We expect our representatives to “help” us; not bring us down to our knees.
    Look where we ended up currently with the Gulf oil spill. Our government’s finest simply accepted freebies (as usual) and looked the other way...allowing BP to have the freedom to destroy innocent lives, our economy, and the environment with their “I don’t care & save-a-dime” attitude! Well, the people DO care and the upcoming elections will reflect just how much we care (for what it’s worth).

    June 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  105. katiec Pekin, IL

    The biggest story and one of the greatest concern should be about a politicial party, who, is elected to represent the people, but has done not nothing but obstruct our political process and vote no on everything regardless of mertis and benefits.
    We have never in the history of our country been faced with all the crisies we have and never had a political party with goals to destroy our president.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  106. Ashe

    Assuming the spill is contained by August, the cleanup process is going well, and we don’t have another extraordinarily major event such as 9/11 or Katrina, the economy will still be front and center. One thing is for certain; we will not run out of issues to debate!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  107. Chris from Texas

    Never ending high unemployment,& Never ending wars in the Middle east. Take your pick.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  108. Bob Green

    The BP oil spill will be the only story that matters this fall, and in 2012. Prior to this Chernobyl I was an unabashed Democrat and Obama supporter, but this inaction and delay has been unacceptable and galvanizes our foes around the world, showing we cannot respond to crises. i don't know why martial law was not declared on April 21, with BP executives rounded up and kept on a prison boat until this tragedy is resolved.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  109. Claire, Melbourne FL

    It probably hasn't happened yet, Jack. We can rail all we want but you know we are a nation of "instant gratification" complainers who expect everything fixed yesterday. I'm sick of the whole bunch of these wacko's.... they don't think... or try to help...!!!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  110. Pam holt

    Foley, al. Forget stories. The results of this oil spill will be becomming so devastating by then, and obama will be blamed. Bush and Obama can both walk hand in hand because of this nightmare. Now would be the perfect time for independents to run for office and especially the next presidency...

    June 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  111. Greg, Ontario

    What ever puts a negative spin on President Obama will be put on the long list of areas where President Obama has dropped the ball. I was a big fan but call it what it is Jack, President Obama is no leader. He is a politician and a great talker but that is all there is to the man. Bush was just a victim of a low IQ. President Obama is intelligent but lacks a backbone. Where have all the real Americans gone?

    June 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm |

    First Jack, I hope and pray that nothing will change my mind between now and November. My vote will be to get the bums out ...thats right, both Republican and Democrat. Government has become the golden security blanket for a bunch of super idiots who have never had a real job or participated in "real life". These idiots have never worked, suffered or anguished like every day Americans. Most are trained lawyers who know how to twist the truth and take advantage of "we the people."

    Please young and older Americans...join me in this effort. And most importantly, lets implement our own plan...Two Terms and you are out, if not sooner. You know the next set of bums will be the same way.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  113. calvin

    clean house remove them all including the supreme court.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  114. reid

    Every issue/crisis this president has confronted reveals his gross incompetence.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  115. Tim

    I do not think anything will affect my decision. They are all incompetent and need to go.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  116. John, Fort Collins, CO

    As I see it, the American people are up to their eyeballs in Washington style debate - what a bunch of BS that has been. The upcoming midterm elections are all about sending the incumbents to Siberia. Hopefully, the Russians would be willing to accept a few billion to reform our slug politicians in some sort of summer camp.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  117. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Whatever story it is, I hope it one that pertains to something a person or political party did or didn't do, rather than something that someone or something did without regard to politics. I'm sick and tired of hearing someone get blamed for, or take credit for, something that they had no hand in. The idea that if something happens under my watch it is mine, doesn't hold true.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  118. lee

    there's nothing good about poitics, but when one party would rather chew their own arm off and eat their young just to critcize the other. I would say they are destroying the small amount of moral fiber anyone has for our political system.
    I was always told "be a part of a solution rather than the problem." " if you can't say something good don't say anything at all"
    The republican party reminds me of people on the job that are afraid to share knowledge. They hold everything in so they can feel needed but nothing grows.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  119. Norm

    The debate will concern the fact that neither party has a plurality. Party officials will be forced to concede that neither party has served the American people and that it is possible that both parties will have to be replaced with two new parties for the good of the nation.

    Wars, the oil spill lack of response, a collapse in public education and a sudden spike in unemployment will dominate the election. The debate on illegal immigration will cause major job restructurings. Companies will acknowledge they can't staff their organizations. Individuals with skills and talents will suddenly find themselves in much higher demand.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  120. Tom {Indiana}

    It's about jobs. People are happy when they have a job that can support their family. Most of the jobs were lost under Bush and that could be why the Republicans is little lower than the Democrats.
    They are putting the presure on the Congress to improve for more better paying jobs.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  121. Tom in Texas

    Barring any more catastrophes, the Gulf oil spill will predominate.One picture really is worth a thousand words.Lots of pictures,well.....you get the idea.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  122. Guy from Hawaii

    Whatever happens the week before!...Up until then the usual finger pointing, it's your fault, what Sarah Palin is wearing, the price of coconut crusted shrimp with QUAKER STATE sauce!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  123. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    What does it matter Jack ? – voter self interest and legislator hypocrisy rule the day. Americans live only for our moment , neighbors and future generations be damned.
    We complain about providing health care to our neighbor, curbing global warming for areas habitually devastated by natural diasters, accept Supreme Court decisions classifying corporations as people, and listen to drill baby drill and small government advocates cry for government help.
    When will we ever learn ? Easy answer, NEVER.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:44 pm |