Obama, Top Dems Discuss Midterm Landscape
President Obama met Monday with Majority Leader Harry Reid and leaders of the Senate Democrats' campaign arm at the White House to discuss the midterm elections, which could determine control of the upper chamber in the next Congress.
Reid was joined by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Executive Director Guy Cecil for over an hour to talk about the 2014 landscape.
Democrats are defending 21 seats this cycle, including a handful in red states where the outcomes could shift the balance of power to the GOP. Republicans need to gain six seats to take control of the chamber, which, though a tough task, would be a major blow to the president’s already rocky second term. Republicans are hoping to capitalize on the Obama’s low approval ratings along with some vulnerable Democrats’ efforts to distance themselves from him.
The meeting came as the president prepares to host a reception for House Democrats at the White House on Tuesday and meet with Senate Democrats at their annual retreat on Wednesday. (He will also address House Democrats at their retreat in Maryland next week.)
Reid and Obama, however, did not discuss the president’s interest in fast-tracking two major trade agreements through Congress without changes or amendments. Republicans support the deals but the majority leader and many Democrats oppose them, arguing that such pacts could result in lost U.S. jobs.
Resistance from the Senate’s top Democrat endangers the agreements with the European Union and Asia-Pacific countries. And it puts some Democrats in a difficult spot given the stakes in this election year. Last week, Reid said pushing the issue now would not be wise.