President Obama told Democrats that turnout is their best hope for this year's congressional elections — and warned of dire consequences if the party doesn't turn out the vote this November.
"In midterms, we get clobbered," Obama said Thursday at a fundraiser in Miami for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Obama was probably thinking of the midterms in 2010, when Republicans won control of the U.S. House and snapped what had been a string of legislative successes for the president.
It's doubtful that Democrats can win back the House in this year's elections. The battle for Obama's party is to keep its majority in the U.S. Senate, which could be at risk if the Republicans have a big year.
In warning Democrats about voter turnout, Obama contrasted Democratic successes in presidential elections with setbacks in other types of contests.
"During presidential elections, young people vote, women are more likely to vote, blacks, Hispanics more likely to vote," Obama said.
"And suddenly," he said, "a more representative cross-section of America gets out there, and we do pretty well in presidential elections. But in midterms, we get clobbered — either because we don't think it's important, or we've become so discouraged about what's happening in Washington that we think it's not worth our while."