Tags: obama | stay | away | congress

Obama Stay Away, Say Vulnerable Democrats, and President Gets the Message

Friday, 07 Feb 2014 08:02 AM

By Michael Mullins

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"Obama stay away" seems to be the sentiment of many red state Democrats running for reelection in the House and Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, and the president appears to be getting the message.

In an apparent acknowledgement of his consistently dismal poll numbers, with many Americans lacking trust in him and confidence in his leadership abilities, President Barack Obama has apparently told Senate Democrats that he's willing to stay away from election battles where his presence would not be helpful, a Democratic source told CNN.

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The concession from Obama came after he attended the Senate Democrats' issues conference Wednesday with former President Bill Clinton in Washington D.C.

The meeting came one day after Obama met with House Democrats in the White House where the topics of discussion reportedly revolved around the upcoming congressional races as well as top administration priorities, such as immigration and whether to raise minimum wage, USA Today reported.

"I don't remember him (Obama) saying he wouldn't be offended if he wasn't invited (to help campaign), but he certainly acknowledged how low his numbers are in certain states," said the CNN source after the meeting.

But Obama also noted "they are bad in some states overall," and "that certain people would need him to help in certain parts of those states," the source said.

While most Democratic strategists have given up hope in winning back the House in 2014, maintaining the party's majority in the Senate is said to be the number one priority for the president, according to the Democratic source.

Currently, the Democratic Senate caucus holds a 53 to 45 majority, with two independents caucusing with the Democrats. Of the 36 races in the upcoming 2014 elections, 21 are held by Democrats, while just 15 are held by Republicans.

Additionally, several of the Democratic senators who will be defending their seats are in Republican-leaning or "red states," such as Alaska's Democrat Sen. Mark Begich, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, Arkansas' Mark Pryor and North Carolina's Kay Hagan, which could help tip the balance of power toward a GOP Senate majority.

Also in the purple state of Colorado, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is facing a tough reelection campaign and is considered vulnerable according to some analysts.

Despite Obama carrying Colorado in both 2008 and 2012, Udall would not say whether he would call on the president to help in his campaign for 2014 during an interview with CNN last week.

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"We'll see what the President's schedule is, what my schedule is," Udall told CNN. "But Coloradans are going to re-elect me based on my record, not the President's record."

In recent months, both Hagan and Landrieu have not appeared alongside the president when he held events in their states.

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