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October 26, 2010

Obama: Democrats Need Big Turnout to Win Elections

President Barack Obama is pushing for a large voter turnout by his Democratic party ahead of next week's mid-term elections, which polls show could see big gains by opposition Republicans.

Mr. Obama said in a radio interview Tuesday that Democrats will win the November 2 elections, provided they get the same voter turnout that put him in the White House in 2008.

He is expected to repeat that theme Wednesday to members of the Organizing for America network that grew out of his presidential campaign.  

A Gallup poll indicates Republicans remain in position to seize control of the House of Representatives from Democrats, who have majorities there and in the Senate. Republicans need 10 more seats to take control of the Senate.

Republicans want a big turnout from white voters, men and older voters.  Their chances have been helped by the Tea Party movement, a loosely-organized coalition of conservative and libertarian groups committed to smaller government and lower taxes.

Democrats are trying to energize young voters, women and minorities - blocs that supported Mr. Obama in 2008.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives plus 37 in the U.S. Senate are at stake in next week's balloting.

In addition to the congressional races, many states (37) are holding elections for governor.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs warned Tuesday of a possible future of, in his words, "gridlock and political gamesmanship."  He was responding to a comment by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  McConnell said this week that after the election, Republicans' single biggest goal will be to ensure that Mr. Obama is not re-elected.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.