“The challenge is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith,” Obama told Democratic donors at the home of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, according to a transcript of his remarks. “They say, ‘Y’know what, it doesn’t matter, I’m not that interested, I’m not gonna vote.’ And that’s especially true during the midterms.”
The President said women, blacks and Hispanics are more likely to vote in presidential elections, with positive results for Democrats.
"But in midterms we get clobbered -- either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while," he said, according to the transcript.
Low Democratic turnout during non-presidential elections is one reason the deck is stacked against the party going into Nov. 4. Obama has repeatedly urged Democrats to focus on state-level races this year even though they're less "sexy" than national contests, and has reportedly offered to stay out of races where his appearance with a vulnerable candidate could do damage.