Democrats Worry About Impact of Scandals on 2014 Elections

Image: Democrats Worry About Impact of Scandals on 2014 Elections Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 02:55 PM

By Lisa Barron

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A series of political scandals rocking the White House could take a toll on Democrat contenders in the 2014 midterm elections.

The renewed focus on the official talking points after the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, fresh revelations about IRS employees targeting conservative groups applying for nonprofit status, and news that the Justice Department seized phone records from Associated Press reporters are all raising fears among Democrats that they could pay the price for scandals that took place on President Barack Obama’s watch, reports Politico.

Some Democrats seeking re-election next year have already started separating themselves from the administration. Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina told the publication that the IRS and DOJ stories are "very, very troubling," while Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said "The IRS actions were outrageous and we need an investigation and to hold them responsible."

As for the tracking of the AP’s phone calls, Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, said Obama "shouldn’t tolerate it. He should have zero tolerance on this issue."

On the other hand, the Democrats don't want to risk alienating voters loyal to the president, noted Politico, quoting a longtime party strategist who said, "He’s the kind of guy who is less likely to have [Democratic candidates] running for the hills because he has a base of support."

Still, there is concern that 2014 could be like previous primaries where Democrats lost in states that Obama did not carry. "In 2010, there was voter fatigue at a party that couldn’t get its act together," a Democratic pollster told Politico. "I think the concern now is that you have an administration that looks incompetent," he said.

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