Republican Party

The Republican Party, or the GOP, is currently in the minority in Congress, with 41 senators and 178 congressmen. The Republican leaders are Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell in the Senate and Ohio’s John Boehner in the House. The party aligns itself to the right of center, supporting general issues such as a free-market economy with little government interference, limited federal spending, and low taxes while opposing government-run healthcare, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage. Some analysts say Republicans have a chance at taking back both the House and Senate in the 2010 midterm elections. GOP candidates across the country are trying to make that a reality by speaking out against key Democrats, including President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They are also drawing attention to congressional spending, the rising national debt, and recent legislation such as healthcare and financial reform. Adding to the high-stakes election season, a fiscally conservative grassroots movement known at the Tea Party emerged in 2009 and has become both a boost and a challenge for Republicans. The Tea Party has played a significant role in getting conservative candidates through their primaries. But it remains to be seen whether the movement will be successful in November, as it has the potential to divide Republican voters.