Democratic Senate candidates in Republican states are doing their best to avoid identification with the party’s standard bearer, President Barack Obama.
Antipathy toward Obama puts Montana Sen. Jon Tester, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, North Dakota candidate Heidi Heitkamp, Nebraska candidate Bob Kerrey, and Indiana candidate Joe Donnelly on the defensive, Politico
Tester doesn’t exactly express unabashed enthusiasm about Obama. Asked by the news service about the president’s impact on his re-election effort, the senator said, “I’ll tell you Wednesday. . . . I can’t tell you what kind of a drag the president is.”
In all of those Red states Republicans are campaigning on anti-Obama themes. “The failed Obama-Tester policies are hurting America,” says a National Republican Senatorial Committee ad running on Montana radio and TV. “The choice is clear: Romney-Rehberg for a new direction.”
The fortune of these candidates could determine whether Republicans will gain control of the Senate, as they need four seats to do so. The moderate Democrats’ fate also will decide the balance of power in the Senate Democratic conference. Without them, it will be more liberal.
And ironically, these Democratic candidates who are keeping their distance from Obama are the very ones whose votes he will need if he is re-elected and is to have any chance of pushing through his agenda.
Real Clear Politics rates Montana, North Dakota, and Indiana as toss-ups, with Missouri leaning Democratic and Nebraska leaning Republican.
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