White House Shifts To Campaign Mode The White House is now campaigning full-steam ahead for the upcoming midterm elections. But the landscape is daunting. President Obama's poll numbers keep falling and the Republican Party may have a historic Election Day unless the Democrats pull off something dramatic in the next few weeks.
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White House Shifts To Campaign Mode

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White House Shifts To Campaign Mode

White House Shifts To Campaign Mode

White House Shifts To Campaign Mode

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The White House is now campaigning full-steam ahead for the upcoming midterm elections. But the landscape is daunting. President Obama's poll numbers keep falling and the Republican Party may have a historic Election Day unless the Democrats pull off something dramatic in the next few weeks.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Yesterday, we reported on President Obama's call for billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. Tomorrow, the president will announce a new package of business tax credits.

NPR: not so good.

MARA LIASSON: And analysts, like Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg, are expanding the number of House seats they think the Republicans could pick up. They only need 39 to take control. So it's not a good outlook. And for Democrats who woke up this morning, read the paper, they probably wanted to go back to bed and pull the covers over their heads.

BLOCK: What could conceivably the White House and Democrats do to try to turn the tide around?

LIASSON: So tomorrow, in addition to the president making his economic proposals, you're going to see the vice president on television on the morning shows and on late night comedy shows. Then Tim Kaine, the man who has his finger in the dike here, he's the chairman of the Democratic Party, he's going to be speaking at noon in Philadelphia. And his task is to see if a good ground game, a good get-out-the-vote operation, like the Democrats have had in the last two cycles, can blunt this huge pro- Republican wave that's coming at Democrats. You know, can good mechanics help just enough Democrats to survive so they can keep the House and Senate.

BLOCK: And is the plan still to deploy Michelle Obama as well?

LIASSON: Yes, she will be out there. She's very popular. She's wanted in a lot of places, and she will be campaigning for Democrats. She will not be delivering a harsh partisan message.

BLOCK: Now, in terms of money, Mara, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has said they will be cutting loose some Democrats, in terms of contributing cash to the campaigns, the ones that they think just do not have a chance of winning. The party is going to have to make some tough calculations to figure out whom they can invest in.

LIASSON: Now, interestingly enough, today, Chris van Hollen sent out a fundraising letter for Mary Jo Kilroy saying that The New York Times has erroneously said I'm going to cut her off but in fact I'm not at all. So this is a problem. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you're a Democratic candidate trailing in the polls, who will give you money if you think Chris van Hollen has cut you off.

BLOCK: Right. NPR's Mara Liasson, thanks very much.

LIASSON: Thank you.

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