Tags: Obama | midterms | Democrats | Arkansas

Dems In Midterm Races Steer Clear of Obama

By    |   Wednesday, 08 October 2014 01:33 PM

President Barack Obama is no longer being welcomed into the traditionally Republican states he swept just six years ago, where he's viewed as a potential liability to Democrats trying to win congressional seats in the November election.

Leading Democrats are saying that it's better for the president to make his case for the party's economic policies away from the states themselves, such as with his speech in Illinois, where he started campaigning last week, reports The New York Times.

He's also visiting other places that remain friendly to him, like a private fundraiser in New York that will be followed by others in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

And while Democrats in conservative states like Arkansas are largely steering clear of Obama, others in states like Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia, which delivered Obama wins in the past, are also staying away from him.

Some Democrats, like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, say that "it's not so important where he says it — it’s what he says."

But even Obama noted last week, while speaking at Northwestern University in Illinois, that his "policies are on the ballot" even though he's not running for re-election, a statement that former adviser David Axelrod admitted on Sunday's "Meet the Press" was "a mistake."

Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to Obama who has worked with him since 2008, told The Times that campaigns have to work out whether they will only win if they are able to turn out enough Obama supporters. Other advisers say that he continues to attract the party's core, which will help win the midterms.

Other Democrats, however, say that Obama is losing popularity among much of that core, including young voters and women. In addition, Latino voters, another core constituency for the party, are angry with the president after he backed away from executive action promising amnesty for undocumented immigrants until after the November election is over.

Part of Obama's strength has been his ability to bring out voters, said Matt Canter, a senior official at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and "[we] are involving the president to engage voters in the most efficient ways."

But instead of hitting the campaign trail, Obama is instead taping recordings for phone calls, ads, and videos, which Canter described as "efficient ways."

In addition, Democrats outside Obama's circles deny he has a special magic on attracting core voters.

"We began building a Democratic coalition well before this president, and it’s going to be strong well after this president," Rick Palacio, chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, told The Times. He said Colorado candidates have been working to attract the state's changing demographics since 2004, well before Obama took office.

For Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall to keep his seat, he'll have to prove that he stands for "the Colorado way, not the Obama way or the Democratic way," said Ken Salazar, a former senator from Colorado who served as secretary of the interior during Obama’s first term in office.

Aides said Obama is planning a series of speeches about the economy, especially where it concerns women and young voters.

"I said people are worried about Ebola and ISIS, but what they have to live day to day is making ends meet," Schumer said. "It’s very important he not just talk about what he has accomplished, but what he wants to do in the future."

Other Obama supporters say they want to return to domestic issues, not national and foreign concerns.

"When people are jumping a fence at the White House and Ebola is in Dallas, it’s hard to get a message through," said Robert Gibbs, Obama’s former press secretary.


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President Barack Obama is no longer being welcomed into the traditionally Republican states he swept just six years ago, where he's viewed as a potential liability to Democrats trying to win congressional seats in the November election.
Obama, midterms, Democrats, Arkansas
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2014-33-08
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 01:33 PM
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