President Barack Obama once again sounded an ominous alarm for Democrats ahead of this year’s midterm elections, lamenting at a fundraiser Thursday night the tendency for Democrats to get “clobbered” in non-presidential years.
At a fundraising dinner benefiting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Obama said it was imperative for Democrats to encourage constituencies to make it to the polls.
“The problem is not that the American people disagree with us on the issues,” Obama said.The challenge is, is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith and finally they just say, you know what, I’m not interested, I’m not going to bother, I’m not going to vote.
“And that’s especially true during the midterms. During presidential elections, young people vote, women are more likely to vote, blacks, Hispanics more likely to vote. And suddenly a more representative cross-section of America gets out there and we do pretty well in presidential elections. But in midterms we get clobbered — either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”
The potential for diminished enthusiasm and turnout is one reason Democrats are worried about the midterm elections, in which they could potentially lose control of the Senate and face the possibility of both a Republican-controlled House and Senate. Polls have shown Democrats trailing in key Senate races, and a loss by Democratic candidate Alex Sink in a recent special election in Florida does not bode well for the party’s broader chances in November.
Obama has repeatedly warned of the consequences of another bad midterm cycle for Democrats. Late last month, he urged Democrats to try to make their races “sexy.”
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