Axelrod: Turnout Key for Democrats in 'Close' Fall Elections

Image: Axelrod: Turnout Key for Democrats in 'Close' Fall Elections

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 09:52 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Democrats running in the fall midterm elections are facing a "tough pitch battle," and predicting winners will grow harder as Election Day nears, said Democratic strategist David Axelrod.

"It's going to be a very, very tough pitch battle right to the end," Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday. "I think it's going to be close."

Axelrod said that "structurally, the Republicans have advantages" heading into November. The key for Democrats is to address the "turnout issue."

"We've got a 30 percent dropoff from presidential elections to nonpresidential elections. And the bulk of that vote [is] younger people, minorities. So motivating those voters to come out is still the principal problem that Democrats face," Axelrod said Wednesday.

A recent poll by The New York Times showed gains by Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Axelrod said both were "veteran politicians" who knew "how to fight."

As the 2014 campaign season heats up, Axelrod said races would be "a lot harder to read going into November than it appeared in March."

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