Some Worry Obama Could Hurt Democratic House Chances in 2014

Monday, 11 Mar 2013 12:01 PM

By Cyrus Afzali

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Buoyed by a strong re-election victory last November, President Barack Obama pledged to help his party take back the House in the 2014 midterm elections. But some Democrats say his policies could hurt rather than help their efforts to win the 17 seats necessary to regain control.

According to Politico, concerns are emerging over the president’s views on gun control, gay marriage, and immigration, particularly among Democrats who are seeking election or re-election in Republican leaning states where Obama’s legislative agenda remains unpopular.

Arkansas state Sen. Bruce Maloch, who’s considering a House run in a heavily Republican district, believes the GOP may try to tie his candidacy to a president whose stance on these issues doesn’t resonate with the more conservative districts found in the South.

“I’m an Arkansas Democrat,” Maloch said. “I would probably not go as far as the president on some of these issues.”

Jim Graves, a Minnesota Democrat considering a rematch next year against GOP Rep. Michelle Bachmann, was more to the point, telling Politico: “There's no question — Obama has taken a fairly liberal tack in his second term.”

He says “the tone coming out of the White House . . . could probably be more conciliatory.”

When Democrats last had control of the House in 2006, they benefited in part from an unpopular President George W. Bush. Now, to win it back, they will need to recruit right-leaning candidates in at least a dozen key districts, most of which favor Republicans, Politico reported.

But the news outlet also noted that positioning themselves as conservatives in some key districts could be complicated for some Democrats, given the fact that conservatives in their party have already been targeted by outside groups, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's political action committee, which spent $2 million last month to defeat a pro-NRA Democratic congressional candidate in an Illinois special election.

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