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Obama seeks to mobilize disappointed voters

Just days before the US congressional election, President Barack Obama urged disappointed voters not to give up the fight they began two years ago. The Democrats are predicted to lose their majority in the House.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama makes a final get-out-the-vote push for Democratic candidates

Three days before the congressional election in the United States, President Barack Obama was working to avert the predicted loss of votes for his Democrats. At campaign events on Saturday, he attempted to mobilize disappointed supporters to vote on November 2.

Obama acknowledges difficulties

Because many Americans are dissatisfied with the policies of the government, the Democrats could face a massive loss of seats in the Senate and House of Representatives in the upcoming ballot. Disappointed voters accuse Obama of failing to keep the campaign promises he made two years ago.

After appearances in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, Obama told thousands of supporters in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, that the election would be difficult. He urged the crowd not to be discouraged in the struggle for reform.

"I want everybody here to understand - don't let anybody tell you that this fight hasn't been worth it," he implored the audience of about 35,000. The rally in Hyde Park was his first public appearance in Chicago since the victory celebration following the 2008 presidential election.

Fun on the Mall

In Washington, meanwhile, tens of thousands of people demonstrated against a political polarization in the country. Supporters gathered at Washington's National Mall for the 'Rally to Restore Sanity', hosted by the prominent television satirists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The festive atmosphere around the Capitol was heightened as many people attend in Halloween costumes, holding signs poking fun at conservatives who accuse President Barack Obama of pursuing a socialist agenda.

students protest for full funding for global AIDs research

Protesters disrupted Obama's get-out-the-vote rally

Stewart and Colbert each host mock news programs on TV channel Comedy Central, where they deliver the day's events with biting wit. Politically, they are close to the Democrats. The initiative is a response to an August rally hosted by ultra-conservative Fox News host Glenn Beck. At least 80,000 supporters of the "Tea Party" movement followed Beck's call to demonstrate in support of "restoring honor" against the "socialist" policies of Obama's government.

Poisoning the political climate

Stewart and Colbert accuse the "Tea Party" of poisoning the political climate with polemical attacks on Obama. The movement routinely labels the US president a communist. The "Tea Party" has criticized Obama's health care reforms and tightened control of financial markets as unfair state intervention in individual freedom.

The Democrats have a reason to fear that on 2 November, they'll lose their majority in the House of Representatives. According to polls, Republicans stand to gain even more than the 39 seats they need to control that chamber. In the Senate, the race is closer. There, the Republicans would need to gain 10 seats to secure the coveted majority.

Author: Eleanor Uhlich (smh) (dpa, afp, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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