Obama described Democrats as having a "congenital disease" that depresses turnout in off-year elections. "We tend to drop off during midterms. That's what happened in 2010," he said Thursday. "So I am going to need everybody here to feel the same sense of urgency as so many of you showed when I was running in 2008 and 2012."
Democrats have been candid about the need to motivate their supporters this cycle. "The fundamental notion is that lower turnout means that we'll lose, and so we've got to drive it up as much as possible," Democratic National Committee spokesman Mo Elleithee told reporters in March -- but a new Pew poll suggests they have failed to do so thus far.
"[T]he party is hampered by a lack of enthusiasm. For example, only 31 percent of Democratic voters say their vote is 'for' Obama. In 2010, that number was 47 percent," Business Insider's Brett Logiurato noted while suggesting "the GOP is at an even stronger point than in previous 'wave' elections in 1994 and 2010 and looks poised to make major gains -- and possibly take control of the U.S. Senate."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Pew poll is wrong. "We're ahead virtually all over the country," Reid said Tuesday. "I don't need to run through the states with you, but, we're doing okay."