This is IN THE NEWS in VOA
The most commonly heard
advice for Barack Obama when he becomes president in January is to "govern
from the center." In Washington,
that means reaching out to the minority party in
Congress to seek common ground.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of
those who says Mister Obama will have to listen to all sides -- from liberal to
conservative -- but stay centered.
NANCY PELOSI: "Each side of
the spectrum can hope to influence the decision. But the fact is that a new
president coming in, in my view, must take the country down the middle to solve
the problems, to gain the confidence, to take us more strongly in a new
The Republicans have been
in the minority in Congress for the last two years. Last week's elections brought
more losses in both houses, plus the White House. Barack
Obama won fifty-three percent of the popular vote and twice as many electoral
votes as John McCain.
the last presidential election, thirty-seven percent of voters said they were
Democrats. An equal percentage said they were Republicans. This year, thirty-two
percent of voters told news organizations that they were Republican. And thirty-nine
percent said they were Democrats.
as many observers have pointed out, those same polls showed that political
beliefs have changed little over the past four years.
Twenty-two percent of this year's voters
said they were liberal, while forty-four percent described themselves as
moderate. Both numbers were almost unchanged from the last election. And the
share of conservatives did not change at all: thirty-four percent.
Brian Darling is with the Heritage
Foundation, a research group.
BRIAN DARLING: "Exit polling
indicated that the American people still consider themselves reasonably
conservative. This is a more of a center-right nation. So what President Obama
has to worry about is he cannot move forward on actions that would offend many
Americans, like taking action to take away many Americans' guns, maybe
something on gay marriage, issues like that."
Democrat Bill Clinton had a Democratic
majority in Congress when he was first elected president in nineteen
ninety-two. Yet two years later, voters gave control of Congress back to the Republicans.
the Republicans are thinking about what they need to do to regain voter trust. That
includes increasing their appeal to blacks, Hispanics, women and the poor. A
majority of voters from these groups voted for Mister Obama.
Governor Bobby Jindal, the son of Indian immigrants, is a rising star in the
party. So is Minnesota's
Tim Pawlenty. But one person some Republicans are looking to for the future is the
governor of Alaska.
Sarah Palin, John McCain's choice for vice president, says she has not ruled
out running for president in four years. She has strong support among social
conservatives. But winning over moderate Republicans and independent voters will
mean having to aim more for the center.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written
by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.