Democrats Spending $60M to Get 'Drop-offs' To Vote in Midterms

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 11:01 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Democrats are spending nine times more on the November elections than spent on the 2010 midterms as they battle to hang on to the Senate.

The Democratic National Committee plans to shell out a staggering $60 million this year to get the so-called “drop-off voters” to show up at the polling centers instead of staying home, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"During presidential elections, young people vote, women are more likely to vote, blacks, Hispanics more likely to vote," Obama said at a recent fundraiser for congressional campaigns.

But Obama noted that these groups don’t tend to turn out when the presidency is not up for grabs. "We do pretty well in presidential elections," he said. "But in midterms we get clobbered."

Obama urged Democratic candidates in the Republican-leaning states of Alaska, Montana, Louisiana and Arkansas to start laying the groundwork now to reduce the amount of “drop-offs” in November.

Democrats effectively hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate. Two Independents, Sens. Angus King (Maine) and Bernie Sanders (Vermont), caucus with the Democrats.

But eight Democratic incumbents are facing tough challenges in November. And the GOP expects that many more Republicans are likely to vote in the fall than Democrats as a protest to the failures of Obamacare.

“Disgruntled voters turn out at a somewhat higher rate than what I like to call the gruntled voters," said Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist.

"So you've got that factor, which normally works against the president's party, compounded by the fact that in off-year elections Republican voters seem to be more reliable about turning out than Democratic-base voters, especially the younger ones.”

Joel Benenson, Obama's chief pollster, admitted that Democrats are “playing defense, they're playing offense," but noted that the GOP’s anger over Obamacare could work against his party’s rival.

"Obamacare is a motivating issue for their base," he said while adding that it “also plays into their biggest weakness" in that "voters see the Republicans as obsessed" with the issue.

Benenson said that Democrats should make supporters aware that the constant GOP attacks on Obama’s signature healthcare law is part of a pattern of "purposeful obstruction" that prevents the president dealing with the biggest problem facing the country - the economy.

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