July 28th, 2014
08:30 AM ET
5 months ago

First lady steps up political push

Washington (CNN) – Michelle Obama is asking Democrats to get serious - about voting in November's midterm elections.

In an email and video to Democratic donors and supporters, the first lady is trying to energize the party's base and expand Democratic turnout. Obama's pitch comes as a new CNN poll illustrates the turnout problem the Democrats face in November.

"When it comes to the midterm elections this November, we need you to be as passionate and as hungry as you were in 2008 and 2012. In fact, you need to be even more passionate and more hungry to get Democrats elected to Congress because these elections will be even hard and even closer than those presidential elections," Obama said in a video put out Sunday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Adding that "we're talking about races that are won and lost by just a few thousand votes, or even a few hundred votes," the first lady said that the party's goal is to reach one million new voter commitments by November. She urged people to sign up at 1MILLIONVOTESFOR2014.COM.

While she has headlined fundraisers for the DCCC, this is the first time the first lady has recorded a video for House re-election arm.

To help motivate Democratic votes, Obama highlighted issues important to the base.

"Just think about what we can accomplish together with a big Democratic victory. We can promote equal pay for women. We can raise the minimum wage. We can pass immigration reform. We can ensure that women are free to make their own decisions about their bodies and their health care," she wrote in the email.

The first lady is one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, with a favorable rating that outshines her husband. A CNN/ORC International survey released in early June indicated the first lady with a 61% favorable rating among Americans, 14-percentage points higher than President Barack Obama.

First lady asks for 'biggest, fattest' checks

Thursday the first lady headlined a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago. She helps the party committee raise more money at an event Monday in the nation's capital.

Meanwhile, the DCCC announced Monday that it's raised nearly $7 million since House Speaker John Boehner first signaled in late June that he planned to sue Obama. Boehner and House Republicans claim the President violated the Constitution by circumventing Congress and changing the law's employer mandate on his own.

Will Democrats turnout in November?

Michelle Obama's video email and video was sent out with 100 days to go until November's elections. And the biggest question surrounding this year's midterms is how many people will turn out to vote.

The answer is crucial, because a smaller, more typical midterm electorate should favor the Republican Party. That's because single women, and younger and minority voters, who are big supporters of Democrats in presidential election years, tend to cast ballots in smaller numbers in the midterms.

That's the problem facing Democrats this November, as they try to hold onto their 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). The party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up this year, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states. In the House, the Democrats need to pick up an extremely challenging 17 Republican held seats to win back the majority from the GOP.

xxxxx poll

A new CNN poll released Sunday illustrates the turnout problem for the Democrats.

In the generic ballot question, the Democrats have a four percentage point 48%-44% edge over the Republicans among registered voters. The generic ballot asks respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

But when looking only at those who say they voted in the 2010 midterms – when the GOP won back the House thanks to a historic 63-seat pick up and narrowed the Democrats' control of the Senate – Republicans hold a two-point 48%-46% margin.

Two caveats: The margins are within the poll's sampling error. And the while the generic ballot is a much watched midterm indicator, the battle for Congress is not one race but instead 471 individual Senate and House contests across the country.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20, with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • DCCC • DNC • Michelle Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. That guy over there

    I guess thats why republican faux news has been trying to sully her lately with hacks calling her a man/tranny. Smh.

    July 28, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Doug Coen

    Michelle Obama is asking Democrats to get serious – about voting in November's midterm elections. She wants them to get together a list of their dead family members and be sure they vote. And you dems need to vote at least twice, if not more if you can get a way with it.
    To help motivate Democratic votes, Obama highlighted issues important to the base. "Just think about what we can accomplish together with a big Democratic victory" "We can really destroy this country and take over every aspect of Americans lives"

    July 28, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Hillary's Ministrokes

    CNN is the lapdog of Obama. Never any mention of his mismanagement of current crisis. Now a story about his horse faced wife.

    July 28, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. dave

    I don't remember anyone voting Mooch into an office

    July 28, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. yolanda

    @Many River, ironic that you are the first to bring up the hate. Isn't it more appropriate that the First Lady encourage all Americans to vote, rather than being so blatantly partisan. The president and first lady have those titles for the entire country, not just the Democratic Party. I expect the bias from you, but not her.

    July 28, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Ol' Yeller

    The answer is crucial, because a smaller, more typical midterm electorate should favor the Republican Party. That's because single women, and younger and minority voters, who are big supporters of Democrats in presidential election years have been blocked from voting in many of these races as the republicants realize their ability to win an election fair and square has been destroyed by their own failure to represent anyone but the most wealthiest of the population, their disdain for women and people of color, and their failure to attract younger voters as the youth of today are turned off by Haters.

    FIFY

    July 28, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Tim

    The dem demand to comtinue the hispanic invasion and the demand for amnesty has killed them. In the past
    i always voted for person rather than party, but will never vote a dem i to office again. Enough.

    July 28, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Farrok

    I like the President and the 1st Lady. However, there has been little or no change and as for hope there is none. President Obama's Presidency began to falter and stall with his attack on the Bill of Rights, NSA scandal and others. I regret that it has turned out like it has. I have begun to believe you could elect anyone to the Presidency and the result would be the same - gridlock.

    July 28, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Kate Hanni

    What are we being passionate about? It's like changing rooms on the Titanic!

    July 28, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. perennial2

    Obama's charisma moment ended right after the 2012 election. It probably ought have ended right after he was gifted that stupid Nobel Peace Prize (and $1 million), but Americans were desperate and weary and enthralled with the entertainment value and potential of a 1.2 black president, even if he was more narcissism than bona fide, even if he had little to back up the illusion and never delivered the management and leadership goods. His equally as egotistical wife became more front and center. Both are far left fringe lawyers milking the business money making opportunities handed every president. Both are obsessed with the nanny state "fixing" what is wrong inside the black family and culture, which is not the job of the other 88% of Americans, whom both Obamas could not care less about.

    July 28, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Cory111

    What a beautiful woman and what a healthy family.

    July 28, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. mr. obvious

    Nappy Jan, then you should be thrilled to know our deficit is going down faster than any time since the last Democratic administration, but hey, lets not bring facts into this, certainly no place in the gop mantra for truth. The truth that really hurts is how many of you rwnj just repeat what you hear on fox, or rush, or downtrend, energy tomorrow? Why not do us all a favor and do some research, and for crying out loud, don't call Google in the bag for Obama when you don't heat what you've been told, especially from fox, my god, that is the quickest way to sound foolish and uninformed. If you really care, you'll do this, its your ss, and Medicaid you've paid into, for how long, over thirty years for me, and when they tell me their plan is to eliminate it, I just don't see how any sane intelligent person would want that.

    July 28, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Lizzie

    Mrs.Obama is well liked, we are told, so it makes sense for her to rally the democrats to donate just like Tom Steyer who said I will spend millions to buy elections

    July 28, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. jp

    Really you guys want Democrats in again

    botched obama care ( opps name has changed cause he not wanting that failure to have his name)

    Internationally he as seen as being week and indecisive good talker but thats it )

    Amnesty for illegals , when you have people that are trying legally to get into the country and are punished for doing things legally ..

    debt has soared under his watch ( can not say from bush those days are over )

    Government has it's fingers in everything stop not the land of the free , your country is becoming very socialistic ( geez Mcarthy would be rolling in his grave )

    Sick of the race card thrown out there , it has more times than any other president ever )

    please bring back america to how it was , it is a shamble now and is continuing to slide down. )

    where's the Constitution something to be proud of and up hold! and there has never been any other administration that has cause so many crimes against. Your founding fathers new there would be an obama in the future and the constitution protects you against him... please once again be proud to be american ..... the red white and blue are all shades of grey ~ stand tall people `

    July 28, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. T.W.A

    Vote democrat = failure for the U.S !!!!

    July 28, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. mr. obvious

    So uh, Doug, your all for more war coupled with tax cuts for the rich, offset by cutting your ss, and Medicaid? Does any of that sound familiar? I'm sure it will work out better this time, SMH.

    July 28, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. kws11

    So the wife of the worst president since WWII wants us to get out and perpetuate the... ???

    July 28, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Jackson

    Doug Coen

    She wants them to get together a list of their dead family members and be sure they vote. And you dems need to vote at least twice, if not more if you can get a way with it.

    _____________

    Quote her as having said that. I dare you.

    Just more libelous garbage from the G-No-P

    July 28, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. Jackson

    Hillary's Ministrokes
    CNN is the lapdog of Obama. Never any mention of his mismanagement of current crisis. Now a story about his horse faced wife.

    ___________

    Did FOX News ever talk about impeaching Reagan for the treason he committed in Iran/Contra?

    Did FOX News ever talk about impeaching Bush/Cheney for the war crimes they committed?

    See, your problem isn't with lapdogs. Your problem is being a hypocrite.

    July 28, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. mr. obvious

    Just can't tell the truth huh Lizzie, that's what you heard, not what he said, and the Koch brothers pumping billions in is just the best thing americans could wish for, wow, talk about naive, holy crap!!!

    July 28, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. Miso

    So that makes her fat behind fair game then

    July 28, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Gabbo

    MOOOOO-chelle ! All liberal blather, all the time ....

    July 28, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Richard

    She is campaigning in all the cemeteries in the nation to get out and vote. Next campaign location, our southern borders

    July 28, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Cyndi Marie

    I am so tired of these racist GOPers disrespecting the President and his lovely wife. First of all Dave, how disrespectful of you to refer to the FOTUS as a Moo. #1. I would love to see your red-neck wife, that is, if you have one. Who in actuality is probably your sister or cousin. #2. Dave, I'm sorry to inform you but George W. destroyed the country, not President Obama, thank GOD he was elected because John McCain and Romney would have made this country just be a memory right now. Is President Obama perfect, No! Will he make mistakes while still in office? Yes. Does he care about the American People? Absolutely yes he does. He is Black? Absolutely. This is what you can not tolerate. I know all you racist rednecks just can't stand a black man being in the white house, Please, Please get over it. I truly believe Democrats will get out in November and vote, because we are sick and tired of all the Bohner, McConnell, and all you racist teaparty members letting President Obama initiate his Agenda. You wanna block everything he does. You think he will leave a legacy of the worst President in the U.S. but you are so sadly mistaken. Democrats will get out and vote in November. Democrats are going to take control of the House and President Obama Dave and Doug you two disgust me.

    July 28, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. y'all must be mistaken

    To all you fools who say miss Obama wants dems to get all there dead relatives to vote must've either been blind asleep or just stupid when bush won through voter fraud in Florida and had to have his daddy's friends declar him president because the American people sure didn't. You say you care about this country but the shady repulse licans sure don't go ahead and vote for them and really watch your country crumble they care as much for you who vote for them as you do for obama believe that. If you don't think republican politicians think there voters are stupid just turn on fox news and if you can see it for yourself well then you deserve it

    July 28, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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