CHICAGO, November 7 (RIA Novosti), Elizabeth Wojt — The Republican win over the Senate in the midterm election was thanks to a "nationalized" campaign focused on voter unhappiness with President Obama, a professor of history and political science at Vanderbilt University, Thomas Schwartz, told RIA Novosti Thursday.
"The Republicans did run a very disciplined campaign, focusing on voter unhappiness with President Obama," Schwartz told RIA Novosti.
"The Democrats tried to emphasize issues like increasing the minimum wage and the so-called "war on women" this means the belief that Republicans are opposed to birth control and abortion, but it wasn't as effective," the Vanderbilt professor added.
Schwartz noted that Tuesday's midterm election was particularly different in that it was "nationalized as a referendum on Obama." According to the professor, Democratic candidates strayed from the style of campaigns run by Kay Hagan, Mark Udall, or Bruce Barley who stressed local issues. Instead, Democrats running in this year's midterm election focused on President Obama, which in turn "sank them."
The Vanderbilt professor added that he was surprised of the Republican success in consistently democratic states including Maryland, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Schwartz also noted that voter turnout was not a great factor in the Republican victories.
The professor went on to note a variety of reasons why the US president has lost popularity in the nation including his health care proposal and foreign policy. He added that although Obama's policies have been popular in the coastal regions and in big cities he has also alienated many Americans.
"Americans have an aversion to strong centralized power, and Obama has pushed for more governmental power over the economy and health care. He has not handled foreign affairs very effectively, and the rise of ISIS and Putin's aggression in the Ukraine has caught the United States unprepared," Schwartz told RIA Novosti.
"But the major reason that Obama is not more popular is that the economy has not fully recovered and still is growing very slowly. If Obama had the economy Bill Clinton had in the 1990s, he would be much more popular," the professor explained.
On Tuesday, Republicans took control of the US Congress by gaining the majority of seats in the Senate, and retaining the majority in the House of Representatives during the 2014 midterm elections. Congress has become Republican-led for the first time in eight years.
Americans voted on Tuesday in midterm elections deciding who would fill all 435 seats of the House of Representatives and 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate.
The Democrats have lost races in the key states like North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa — states that contributed to Obama's victory in the 2008 elections.