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Republicans Hope to Win Back Majority in Congress

The U.S. Capitol is seen at sunset the day before mid-term elections in Washington November 1, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Molly Riley )

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November 01, 2010  (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Experts say Tuesday’s midterm elections could shift the balance of power in the U.S. Congress.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 37 of the 100 Senate seats are at stake. The race also includes 37 state governorships and leadership of some U.S. territories.

Polls predict the Republican Party will make big gains, possibly ending the Democrats’ majority in one or both houses of Congress. Experts say Republicans could likely gain the 39 seats they need to achieve a majority in the House of Representatives, but odds are not as good that they will gain the 10 seats they would need for a majority in the Senate.

If Republicans win a majority in either or both houses, it could make the next two years difficult for President Barack Obama, a Democrat. Lawmakers could block further White House-backed initiatives or pass bills to try to repeal the president’s health care reform, despite Mr. Obama’s veto authority.

Turnout for midterm elections is usually smaller than for a presidential vote.

Democrats are seeking to energize the blocs that helped propel Mr. Obama to victory in 2008 — young voters, women and minorities. Republicans are hoping to turn out voters who are dissatisfied over the ailing economy and high national unemployment rate.

Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006.

Some information in this story was provided by AP.

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