Midterm elections aren't "sexy," President Obama told a group of Democratic governors Thursday -- but they're to be ignored at the party's peril.

At a fundraising event for Democratic governors at a hotel near the White House, Obama warned governors and donors against Democrats losing focus on statewide elections, "because we know how to win national elections."

"But all too often it's during these midterms where we end up getting ourselves into trouble, because I guess we don't think it's sexy or something," Obama said, according to a pool report.

The midterm elections will be of critical importance to the president, whose final two years in office would be greatly complicated were Republicans to win a majority in the Senate, giving the GOP control of Congress.

To help ward off that threat, Obama has committed to host a slew of fundraisers for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as well as for other Democratic campaign committees.

But the electoral relationship between Obama and vulnerable Democrats is a tenuous, complex one: While they will no doubt appreciate the money the president helps bring in, candidates in battleground states have so far been reluctant to appear with Obama at public events because his approval ratings have taken a hit since the rollout of his signature health care law.