March 9, 2014

FOR SOME VOTING IS AN OBLIGATION, FOR SOME A STUNT:

Obama to Dems: It's time to worry (Justin Sink, 03/09/14, The Hill)

"We're good at Senate and House elections during presidential years -- it's something about midterms," Obama said. "I don't know what it is about us."

And at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Boston, Obama said poor turnout could lead the party's candidates to get "walloped."

"It's happened before and it could happen again," said Obama, who remembers all too well the shellacking his party took in 2010, when it lost control of the House.

In 2014, the worry is that Democrats will lose the Senate if the base doesn't come out, and it's an outcome that political observers and Democratic strategists say is more and more plausible.

Democrats are defending 21 of the 36 Senate seats up this fall, and election watchers widely expect the party to lose seats as they protect a fragile six-seat majority. 

Democrats in red states like South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana have retired, and Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.) are facing tough races.

"You just have a lot more red states than blue states in play," said Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf.

Compounding that problem is that the demographic advantages the president exploited in 2012 -- an influx of young and minority voters -- are unlikely to materialize this cycle. 

Older, white voters less friendly to the president are far more likely to head to the polls for a midterm election.

"The difference in electorates between midterm elections and presidential elections is stunning," said Ken Goldstein, a political scientist at the University of San Francisco.
Posted by at March 9, 2014 9:33 AM
  
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