The US Midterm Elections: A referendum on Obama?

Professor James Fallows, US Studies Centre and Professor Morris Fiorina, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
9 November, 2010

Co-presented with the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney


Only two years after the sky high expectations surrounding his historic election as US President, Barack Obama’s Democrats are poised to suffer a stunning defeat in 2 November’s mid term congressional elections. Despite getting out of Iraq, making sure the GFC did not become a second depression, and passing major health care and financial reform, the US remains mired in deep economic trouble and Obama apparently can do nothing to stop the Tea Party-catalyzed rout.

Listen to two of the US’s most experienced and distinguished political analysts discuss what happened and why, what the midterm rebuke means for the Obama Presidency and American politics, and what the future holds for Australia-US relations.


Professor James Fallows

Professor James Fallows is Chair in US Media at the US Studies Centre, and National Correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly magazine. One of the world's leading journalists, Fallows is author of nine books and over two hundred articles on a wide variety of subjects including US national security policy, the US Congress, Iraq, Japan, the future of print media, and the future of airline travel. Professor Fallows is a winner of the American Book Award for National Defense, a critical assessment of American military power at the height of the Cold War, and the National Magazine Award for "The Fifty First State?" one of the first analyses of the likely consequences of the US invasion of Iraq. His latest book is Postcards from Tomorrow Square, a series of essays on contemporary China based on his experiences living in Beijing and Shanghai in recent years.


Profesor Morris Fiorina

Professor Morris Fiorina is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He is currently a visitor at the US Studies Centre. Professor Fiorina's current research focuses on elections and public opinion with particular attention to the quality of representation how well the positions of elected officials reflect the preferences of the public. His 2004 book Culture War: The myth of a polarized America (with Samuel J. Abrams and Jeremy C. Pope) attracted wide attention in the national media. His most recent book is The New American Democracy (2009) and Disconnect: The breakdown of representation in the United States with Samuel J. Abrams ( 2009).

US Studies Centre Logo