″I Hope an Issue Like Iraq Will Draw Americans to the Polls″ | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 06.11.2006
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"I Hope an Issue Like Iraq Will Draw Americans to the Polls"

Will Tuesday's elections in the US lead to a Democratic Congress and Republican president? Americans living in Germany have sent their absentee ballots and shared their thoughts on the elections and the issues at stake.

Capitol Hill in Washington

Americans vote for the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate

Fred Irwin, President of American Chamber of Commerce, in Germany for 36 years

How will the elections go?

From the mood of the country, it seems that the Democrats will gain both in the House and in the Senate. The question is whether they will take over both houses. I predict that they're not going take over the Senate and that they'll come very close in the House, but that the Republicans will maintain control of both houses.

US President George W. Bush

Polls ahead of Tuesday's election don't contain much good news for Bush

What are the key issues?

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. That is the question in this election. Most people feel that if the Democrats win they will find a plan to pull the troops home and if Republicans win they'll either increase troop strength in Iraq or maintain the status quo. There are also only secondary local issues concerning minimum wage, the rising costs of prescription drugs, the economy. Some people feel that if the Republicans win they'll need more money for the war so they'll raise taxes.

What would be the best outcome for the country?

For the country, the best result is if 70 percent of the electorate goes to the polls. The apathy among American voters does not do the country good, and I'm hoping an issue like Iraq is going to draw them to the polls. Then it will be the right outcome.

Mary Roper, English teacher in Germany for two years

No War posters protesting the war in Iraq

Many said the war in Iraq is the biggest issue in Tueseday's elections

How will the elections go?

I haven't heard that much about it, but I hope that the Democrats will be able to pull it off. I think that might happen, but I know that they're 15 seats behind.

What are the key issues?

The biggest issue is Iraq and foreign policy. Since the war started it has been the biggest issue. Embryonic stem cell research has also come up with some candidates.

What would be the best outcome for the country?

I'm not really a Democrat or a Republican. I prefer going with the best candidate. But this time around I think Democratic would be the best result because it would divide the government and that would change Bush's current agenda a little bit.

Mike Jansen, independent business consultant, in Germany for 26 years

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is likely to win re-election

How will the elections go?

The Democrats are going to win. The only Republican who is going to win is Schwarzenegger because of the environmental issues, which are big out there and the way he handled other issues when he made mistakes in the past.

What are the key issues?

For Americans, one of the main issues is the war in Iraq because of all the people dying over there, and Bush has lost the people's faith and not really come out and told the whole story to the American public.

What would be the best outcome for the country?

To be honest I don't even think Americans care about politics because they don't believe in the politicians. Only very few rich people are into politics. The majority of Americans have other issues: How they're going to earn money and pay for health insurance. They're not into politics the way Germans are.

Carol Kloeppel, television producer, in Germany for 14 years

President Bush addresses a rally for the Republican party

Bush has been campaigning for Republicans in close races

How will the elections go?

I think that the Democrats will win back a lot of seats.

What are the key issues?

The war, the war and the war -- and America's reputation abroad.

What would be the best outcome for the country?

I think that we need to have a better balance of power again. It's been too Republican and there've been too many things that have not gone right, and we need to have a stronger Democratic presence to balance that out again. And I would be really happy to get rid of the president, but we can't.

Dave Lemus, Financial CEO of bio-tech company MorphoSys in Germany for eight years

Symbolbild Wahlen USA Geld und Parteien

The Republicans currently hold a majority in the US Congress

How will the elections go?

Conventional wisdom says the Democrats will prevail in 2006. The House looks to be a certainty and only a matter of degree. The Senate could turn Democratic if things get real ugly.

What are the key issues?

The Iraq war and the Foley political scandal, amongst others.

What would be the best outcome for the country?

I have never viewed change as necessarily negative.

David Fisher, information technology consultant, in Germany for 36 years

How will the elections go?

I hope the Republicans lose in both houses. That would be a dream come true.

What are the key issues?

The main issue is that George Bush is running a concentration camp that is against the constitution and is trying to justify torture. He's an absolute disaster and the worst president in the history of the United States.

What would be the best outcome for the country?

The quickest end possible to the Bush administration to stop him from implementing any more ridiculous policies.

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