July 28th, 2014
08:30 AM ET
9 years 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.

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"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. Gurgyl

    It is the responsibility for all citizens to vote. Just like for all citizens to go thru at least college and get graduated. Look at India, China.

    July 28, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Let the right wing hate begin.....

    Who'll be first?
    Just spewing lies and hate....
    Lies hurt
    Wired weird

    Or will it be my favorite bigot Ricky McDicky?!?!

    July 28, 2014 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  3. mr. obvious

    Speaks volumes, when the majority votes, the Republican party loses, they've been riding the edge, and using any means necessary to win, gerrymandering,suppressing the vote, and the lies are bigger than ever, keystone anyone.

    July 28, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. Summerwarmth

    Maybe if Michelle Obama makes a hashtag sign it will detract from her husband's failures in the 2014 election.

    July 28, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  5. mr. obvious

    Lies so big, so reckless, that company CEO's, had to buy airtime and tell people, and investors the truth, how utterly irresponsible, yet, its only one of many, ah, the party of mature responsible adults, who you want running your country, sad.

    July 28, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I know I've been telling everyone to get out and vote. Since we have so much treachery going on in MI politics.... Like ads that don't state whether they are Democratic or Republican, they simply have patriotic sounding names. I've been telling everyone the more patriotic the name sounds the more right wing they are. If you don't know, vote straight Democratic ticket.

    July 28, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  7. cbp

    How many of us remember eating school lunches? Those of us who work in the public schools know all too well that a lot of the food is not eaten. Students do throw food away. We can work toward healthy school lunches and those who provide lunches should be working with MRs. Obama to provide menus that the children will like and which the lunch programs feel they can offer.How many of the programs are run by corporations? What is their profit margin? Surely they must break even or better yet are making making money. Emeril has cooked school lunches and they were healthy. Some school programs still have cooks preparing the school lunches. It would be nice to hear from those school systems and find out what they are serving and the nutritional info that goes along with it.

    July 28, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Independents, moderates, Democrats need to get up and out and vote.
    If Republicans gain the Senate and keep the House we'll see our biggest nightmare come true in this country.
    The Rethuglikkklan's hatred of anything Obama will be fully manifest itself and they will make the country pay for re-electing him and not them by further screwing the poor and disenfranchised.
    There is also the distinct probability that they will promptly get us into an armed conflict in order to take care of their defense contractor buddies.
    Halliburton anyone?

    July 28, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. Lizzie

    And make Barack President for life, just like his idols Chavez and Castro

    July 28, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. smith

    There will be no change come Nov. People on both sides are burned out with this congress and potus. This gridlock will continue til 2016.

    July 28, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. National Socialist Progressive Communist Democrat Party

    People would be more excited about turning out if Obama wasn't such a dismal failure and a disaster on the international stage. He's told too many lies and people are turned off by that. His constant barrage of negative attacks doesn't help him either.

    July 28, 2014 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. Jan Nappylotto

    Vote for Illegal Immigrants to destroy the public school system!
    Vote for illegal immigrants to bankrupt the hospital system by flooding emergency rooms demanding tax-paid treatment!
    Vote for illegal immigrants to wipe out tax dollars by taking advantage of the corrupt food stamp system!
    Vote for more spending and the debt to reach beyond $18 Trillion dollars!
    Vote for more programs like the ACA that has caused higher insurance rates, loss of seeing your doctor, and loss of policies!
    Vote for the weaponization of the IRS!
    Vote for the justified and blatant destruction of evidence!
    Vote for "it was just a group of spontaneous protestors"... WAIT! "It was really an organized attack by highly organized and heavily armed militia! We caught the mastermind!"
    Vote for the NSA freely spying on you and destroying your Constitutional rights!
    Vote for the suppression of the free press that speak against the Administration!
    Vote for trading 5 high level terrorists for 1 deserter!

    If you hate the United States... Vote Democrat.

    July 28, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    The subversives of the Democratic Party seek to make America a dictatorship. That is very, very clear. It is up to the people, to stop that, and return America to its true course. The people can either capitulate, or save their country. The choice is theirs.

    July 28, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Gunderson

    Um, Whazzat?,
    Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. When will I ever learn.

    July 28, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. Truth

    This isn't partisan but Michelle Obama is highly- unlikeable.

    July 28, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. mr. obvious

    If you believe what the gop says, remember this, they promised to cut your social security, and Medicaid, give tax breaks for the rich, and go to war in several countries at once, if you do vote gop, pay attention when your life gets thrown in the gutter, its Obama's fault. It certainly won't be the result of those gop policies that all he expert economists said caused it, tax cuts for the rich, and war us just good business.

    July 28, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  17. jerryhern

    i will make sure to turn out and vote anything other than democrat after what Michelle's clown husband did to my health insurance.

    July 28, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Greg

    Michelle Obama is a loud mouth, obnoxious, self centered, racist

    July 28, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    He, thanks, CNN. I like this photo of Michele better than the first picture posted.

    Now to the poll. According to this article, Democrats have a 48 – 44 (4%) advantage, but ... "Obama's pitch comes as a new CNN poll illustrates the turnout problem the Democrats face in November" because, well ... back in 2010 blah, blah, blah.

    July 28, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. Michael

    "It is important we give more jobs and educational resources to our undocumented guests. As such, please vote for Democrats this election so we can continue to lower the middle class standard of living. Don't worry, our judges will fix the Obamacare subsidy ruling, so you will get handouts once you slide completely into poverty! Well, I am off to Martha's Vineyard!" – Mrs. Obama.

    July 28, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Madoff

    It is a shame that the evil republicans have forced our First Lady to act as a money gatherer instaed of her desires to help improve the nutrition of our families and shelter abused children from foreign lands.

    July 28, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. firewalker25b

    Usually First Ladies take care of the Whitehouse duties like overseeing the Parties and Hosting Dignitaries who visit...but no, this one likes to BULLY PEOPLE and runs around thinking that she's an elected official.

    July 28, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. concernedGrndma

    She should contribute the millions she uses for expensive vacations (or are they at taxpayers' expense?)

    July 28, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. engelbert

    All social issues, most of which are misrepresented. She continues to demonstrate her devotion to Keynesian economic theory which has long been proven wrong. GET THE ECONOMY GOING!!!! It is basic supply and demand.

    July 28, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Lorraine

    Because why again? Because the "first lady" is not anyone else's "first lady". Only democrats.
    How does she keep consistently putting her foot into it like she does?
    Isn't she the wife of the leader of this nation – and as such the "first lady of us all" – not just some.
    My oh my, Ms. Obama. I bet the country is weary of you by now. Telling us too to stay divided. Never consider what the other "side" is saying. Never meet the other side in the middle. Never question a democrat. Only do as "they" say. And vote as you are told.
    Ms. Obama – isn't your message the exact wrong one for this nation. Weary of your husband's partisan leadership that considers anyone who doesn't parrot him or Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden or Harry Reid – as the enemy? Just because....
    Ms. Obama – how about you encourage every single voting age American to only back and support someone who has a solution to what ails this country today – not just if they had a D behind their name.
    Really, Ms. Obama – half the country wants YOU to represent them, too. Why don't you? By now.

    July 28, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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