Obama Admits Democratic Turnout Dips In Midterm Elections


President Barack Obama cautioned Democrats on Wednesday night to avoid the drop in voter turnout that doomed the party in the 2010 midterms. 

Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in Miami, Obama said that the lower turnout that typifies non-presidential election years often trips up his party. Democrats triumphed in 2008 and 2012 — when Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were on the ballot — but Republicans dominated in 2010 and re-claimed control of the House of Representatives.

“Sometimes, the presidential campaigns are the ones that get a lot of notice and a lot of fanfare,” Obama said, according to an official White House transcript. “And what happens, particularly among Democrats, is when it’s not a presidential year our turnout drops off.  That’s what happened in 2010.  You had this big gap between the number of people who vote on a presidential year and those who vote on a non-presidential year.  We can’t think in those terms.”

Voter turnout in midterm elections often skews older, whiter and more affluent, creating an electorate that decidedly favors Republicans.



Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.