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Democrat Unrest Ahead Of The Midterms

- May 20, 2014

DEMOCRAT CANDIDATES– ANCHORED BY OBAMA’S LOW APPROVAL RATINGS – ARE INCREASINGLY FRUSTRATED WITH OBAMA'S WHITE HOUSE

Politico’s John Harris: Democrats Are Frustrated With Obama Over A Lack Of Engagement In The 2014 Midterm Elections. MSNBC’S WILLIE GEIST: “So Democrats are fighting to keep the Senate majority, as we all know in the midterm elections. Politico, though, reporting that one key Democrat is not invested in the fight, at least not as much as some Democrats would like him to be. Who is it?” HARRIS: “That man is Barack Obama, who’s got more at stake than any other person in these midterm elections. Reviving his presidency depends a lot on preventing Republicans from taking over the Senate. But there’s frustration among a lot of Democrats that my colleague Isaac Dovere talked to, which is that they feel the President’s not engaged with coming up with a coordinated Democratic strategy. He’s busy raising money, which is a big thing that helps, but he doesn't seem personally invested in the strategy.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 5/20/14)

Obama’s Lack Of Engagement With 2014 Democrats Is Creating Party Tension

Democrats “Complain” That “There’s No Strategic Direction” For The Midterms. “The White House, they complain, has yet to broaden its economic message. The president has no set meetings with his political staff, and does little to help beyond headlining events to activate big donors. There’s no strategic direction.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

  • “The Problem, According To The Nearly Two Dozen Top Democratic Operatives And Outside Allies Who Shared Their Frustration With POLITICO, Is Obama’s Investment — Or Lack Thereof — In The Midterms.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)
  •  “Throughout His Presidency, Democrats Have Griped That Obama Has Never Focused On Anyone’s Races But His Own.” “Throughout his presidency, Democrats have griped that Obama has never focused on anyone’s races but his own. This time — with the last two years of his term in the balance — White House aides repeat that he’s all in, insisting to operatives in the face of questions about the president’s engagement that he really is focused strategically on how he and his political operation can help.They just can’t seem to get people to believe them.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

Obama’s Only Conversations About Races With The Main Political Committees “Have Been Limited To Short Chats En Route To Or At Fundraisers.” “Former President Bill Clinton and his staff have been getting regular midterm briefings from Democratic campaign staffers — including updates by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil, who’s flown up to New York to deliver them in person. Obama’s only conversations about races or dynamics with anyone connected with the main campaign committees, they said, have been limited to short chats en route to or at fundraisers.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

  • “Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel Of New York Hasn’t Held A Full Briefing On House Races For The President Since Last Year.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)
  • “DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet Of Colorado Hasn’t Had An Extended Conversation With Obama About The State Of Play Since An Oval Office Meeting At The Beginning Of February.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

The White House Has Made “No Substantial Outreach” To State Party Activists To Plan For The Months Leading To The Election. “On other fronts, the moves are far less certain. Less than six months out, there is no substantial outreach to the stakeholders out in the states to get them ready, with senior aides just last week beginning to get serious about putting together a memo for the president and the first lady advising them on how and where they might spend time.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

  • “People On The Ground Say They Should Have Heard From The White House Already, Don’t Know What To Expect And Are Still Having Trouble Plugging In To The Revered Obama Campaign Data — Especially Its Volunteer List. They Have Started To Give Up On Waiting.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

And Obama’s Abysmal Approval Ratings Aren’t Doing Democrats Any Favors

“Many Democrats Say Their Biggest Worry For The Fall Is The President Himself.” “For months, President Barack Obama has been telling donors that there’s nothing more important to him than the November elections. But many Democrats say their biggest worry for the fall is the president himself.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

  • “But Anxious Democrats Point To Obama’s Low-40s Approval Ratings As The Kind Of Anchor-Round-The-Neck Numbers That Could Cost The Party Real Ground In The House, And Enough Senate Races To Lose The Majority.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)
  • “White House Aides Want To Frame Each Senate, House And Gubernatorial Race As Being Much More About The Two Candidates On The Ballot Than A Reflection Of The President’s Standing.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

AND TOP DONORS ARE INCREASINGLY FRUSTRATED WITH OBAMA

Democrat Donors “Express Weariness With A White House That Continually Asks For Money But Has Been Unable To Move Anything In Washington Since President Obama’s Reelection.” “As some look to the promise of a 2016 presidential bid by Hillary Clinton, they express weariness with a White House that continually asks for money but has been unable to move anything in Washington since President Obama’s reelection.” (Amie Parnes, “Obama Drift Frustrates Donors,” The Hill, 5/20/14)

  • Donor: “I Think A Lot Of People Think, ‘What’s Really The Point?’” “‘We’re already seeing that happen now when Democrats do have control of the Senate,’ one donor said. ‘I think a lot of people think, ‘What’s really the point?’’” (Amie Parnes, “Obama Drift Frustrates Donors,” The Hill, 5/20/14)

Democrat Strategist: Democrat Frustration Is A “Sign That Donors Are Tired Of Giving.” “One Democratic strategist who has worked closely on fundraising efforts has heard similar rumblings and says it’s a sign that donors are tired of giving.” (Amie Parnes, “Obama Drift Frustrates Donors,” The Hill, 5/20/14)

  • “‘There’s Definitely Some Donor Fatigue In A Lukewarm Environment,’ The Strategist Said. ‘They Are Tired Of Giving And Giving And They Know There’s Not Much More The President Can Do.’” (Amie Parnes, “Obama Drift Frustrates Donors,” The Hill, 5/20/14)

 BUT THE REAL PROBLEM FOR 2014 DEMOCRATS MAY BE OBAMA’S MESSAGE – OR LACK THEREOF

Top Democratic Donors Are “Exasperated By A Lack Of Leadership From The White House On Policy.” “Top Democratic donors say they are exasperated by a lack of leadership from the White House on policy and are questioning whether they should throw money into midterm elections they believe won’t change Washington.” (Amie Parnes, “Obama Drift Frustrates Donors,” The Hill, 5/20/14)

Democrats Are Anxious That The Obama Team Doesn’t Know Which Issues Motivate Voters To Get To The Polls. “But privately, there’s clear Democratic anxiety that Obama and his aides still don’t get the difference between issues that have public support — raising the minimum wage or background checks for guns, say — and those that actually get people to the polls.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

  • Obama’s Failure To Give A “Broad, Compelling Message On The Economy” Paints An Fuzzy Picture About What The Party Stands For. “His failure so far to present a broad, compelling message on the economy — beyond an emphasis on raising the minimum wage that’s fallen flat with middle-class voters — has, according to internal Democratic polling and focus groups, left that group without a clear sense of what he or the party stands for beyond helping the poor.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)
  • “And The Worst Part, Say These Party Aides And Outside Allies, Is That — Less Than Six Months Before Election Day — Obama And The White House Still Don’t Seem In A Real Rush To Start Fixing Any Of Those Problems.” (Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Dems Desperately Seek And Obama Midterm Strategy,” Politico, 5/20/14)

 


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