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Issues lost in horse race for Senate, two U.S. journalists say

November 4th, 2014
06:18 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

As America went to the polls on Tuesday, two U.S. journalists told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the battle for control of the U.S. senate has dominated this midterm election.

“One of the things I find particularly peculiar about this election is that the degree to which it doesn’t seem to be about anything big apart from winning the senate,” said U.S. correspondent for The Guardian Gary Younge.

Joining in the discussion was Brian Lehrer, host of the Brian Lehrer Show on WYNC radio, who agreed with Younge.“Yes, this is a ‘stop Obama election’, not a ‘get something we really believe in done election’ for the Republicans,” Lehrer said.

Younge added that it seemed to him that these midterms differed from what “were called wave elections, in 2010 – the role of government, 1994 – Gingrich’s Contract with America, 2006 – the Iraq war, this one doesn’t seem to be about anything.”

Republicans seem poised to take both Houses of Congress according to opinion polls.

Lehrer said that while he believed this would ultimately not happen, “there are some who question the Republicans, whether if they have both Houses will be able to restrain themselves from even trying to impeach Obama as a political act.”

Younge told Amanpour that, until recently, he did not think social dynamics had played into the election.“If you think of what has happened since the Presidential Election and now, the massacre in Newtown, Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, these major kind of talking points in American society have barely come up,” he said.

“And then in the last week the Democrats have been in some states – Georgia and now in North Carolina – raising some of these things on black radio for example. Look in Ferguson they didn’t vote and look what happened. This candidate supports the stand your ground law – the law that allowed George Zimmerman to walk away – and I know in Arizona, for example, the gun control issue has come up,” Younge added.

The question of the misrepresentation of the electorate has also become part of the midterm debate.

“When you talk about a representative democracy, and if it is a representative election, a lot of people don’t realize that in 2012, more Americans voted for Democrats in the House of Representatives than voted for Republicans. But because of the gerrymandering, the district line throng that Republicans were able to do after their wave election in 2010, the maths doesn’t equal out,” Lehrer said.

Click above to watch the full interview.

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