White House press secretary Jay Carney predicted on Tuesday that Democrats would not lose control of the Senate in 2014, even as some progressives express a growing concern that Republicans could win back the upper chamber in November.
“The Democratic Party is not going to lose control of the Senate, in our view,” Carney said when pressed repeatedly about how President Obama would influence congressional races this fall.
Not wanting to wade too deeply into the White House's political challenge, however, Obama’s top spokesman added, “This is not a campaign briefing.”
Republicans need a net gain of six Senate seats to take control of the upper chamber. Democrats are now openly conceding that the House is likely to remain in the GOP camp.
Some prominent Democrats are calling on the party to keep their attention on November’s midterm elections — and not the 2016 race for the White House.
“It would behoove Democratic activists and donors who are whipped up about 2016 to shift their focus, or they may be sitting here in November, looking at a Republican Senate to go along with the House,” former Obama adviser David Axelrod told the New York Times.