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 Politics Archive 2014

Robert Gibbs says low voter turnout and little help from President Obama on the fundraising front places Democrats in “danger” of losing the Senate
by Nathan'ette Burdine: March 20, 2014

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Robert Gibbs told host David Gregory that low voter turnout amongst the Democratic base and little help from President Obama on the fundraising front has placed the Democrats in “danger” of losing the Senate.

“I think the genuine problem that Democrats are nervous about, is—we’re looking at a midterm election where the electorate is much less likely to look like a presidential, and much more to look like 2010. And quite frankly, if this electorate is more conservative, less Hispanic, less African-American and less young…Right. There’s real, real danger that the Democrats could suffer big loses,” said Gibbs.

There are 36 Senate seats up for election during the Fall 2014 mid-term election. The Republicans need to win six seats in order to reclaim the Senate.

Democrats have expressed concerns that the fail launching of Obamacare will result in the Republicans taking control of the Senate.

Gibbs told Gregory, “Because if he doesn’t get, as I said, more involved in raising money, in getting voters excited—we know, as you said, that Obamacare is going to bring Republicans out..But if he doesn’t get more involved--as Dan Pfeiffer said, you lose the Senate, and if you lose the Senate, turnout the lights because the party’s over.”

According to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, more people view President Obama’s health care law as a “bad idea” than those who see it as a “good idea.”

The poll also shows that Republicans have a one percentage point edge with voters who believe the Republicans will do a better job in Congress than the Democrats.

But, what could be the most troubling for the president and Democrats running for office is that 48% of voters said that they will not support a candidate who supports President Obama. 

Carolyn Ryan, Washington Bureau chief for the New York Times, told Gregory that President Obama and the Democrats are concerned that the public doesn’t believe the president is able to lead.

“I think what unites all of these recent developments and what would be most worrisome to the Democrats and to the Obama administration is, it feels like in some real way, that people have lost trust in President Obama. And I don’t mean trust just in the narrow sense of—is he honest, is he forthright.”

The Republicans, on the other hand, have a tough road ahead as well. The public’s view of the Republican Party remains negative and the Republican establishment continues to face challengers from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party.

According to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 45% of voters have a negative view of the Republican Party and 27% have a positive view of the Republican Party compared to 44% who have a negative view of President Obama and 41% who have a positive view of the president.

Some Republicans believe the Tea Party is responsible for the public’s unfavorable view of the Republican Party.

After the 2013 Tea Party lead government shutdown, Tom Davis, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, told Bloomberg news, “They voted ‘no’ because they understand this is a rally cry. This has not helped Republicans. It’s hurt the Republican brand.”

During an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” Karl Rove, a Republican strategist, told host Chris Wallace that Republicans can win the Senate if they don’t get “Todd Aiken” like candidates who aren’t electable.

Rove acknowledged that Georgia is a state where Republicans could possibly lose because of some of the extreme views of Tea Party candidates like Rep. Phil Gingrey who defended Todd Aiken’s “legitimate rape” comment.

And based on a Public Policy Poll released during the end of January 2014, Democrat Michelle Nunn is leading all of the Republican candidates in the field.

Rove also expressed concern that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who faces a Tea Party challenger, might lose his Senate seat.

According to the Huffington Post, McConnell is in a statistical tie with Democrat Alison Lundergran Grimes.

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