Midterm Election Strategy Tops Obama Meeting with Senators

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 12:26 PM

By Melanie Batley

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President Barack Obama is sitting down with Senate Democrats Wednesday in an effort to hash out a coordinated 2014 midterm election strategy designed to ensure the party retains control of the Senate for the remainder of his term in office.

The 55-member Senate Democratic Caucus will meet with the president at the White House, having last convened in October, Politico reports.

The president's plan, according to the publication, involves ironing out the problems with Obamacare and making sure it works better, more aggressive fundraising, and selling a populist message that brings together both vulnerable Democrats and the party leadership under one political and policy agenda.

"He's committed to helping us," New York Sen. Chuck Schumer told Politico. "And he has been trying to help us in a whole lot of ways, [including] fundraising and helping our candidates, getting involved in every way we ask."

Protecting the Democrats' narrow majority in the Senate is a top priority for the president if he is to achieve progress on his policy agenda in his final two years in office.

The GOP would need to win a net of six seats to regain control of the chamber. Republicans are hoping to capitalize on the president's historically low popularity ratings at the moment and public dissatisfaction with Obamacare to make their case between now and the November elections.

"Particularly at a time when Washington is so polarized, if we do not have at minimum a Democratic Senate, it is very hard to see how we can make some of the advances that we need to make on work that is still undone," Obama said at a fundraiser in November, according to Politico.

Meanwhile, White House advisers have already briefed Senate leadership aides on the proposals Obama may include in his Jan. 28 State of the Union Address. That in itself marks a departure from the past. Usually, lawmakers aren't briefed on the speech until shortly before it is delivered.

"The agenda that the president will present in the State of the Union will be the focus of a sustained effort over the course of the year, and we're hopeful that those on Capitol Hill who share these priorities will be similarly committed," Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman said, according to Politico. "I anticipate they will be."

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