President Obama's push for a "liberal legacy" could give Republicans an easier road to control of the Senate, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) argued in a Tuesday memo to reporters and fellow Republicans.
"In recent weeks, President Obama and his team have made no secret of the fact that the Inaugural Address and the State of the Union is a two-step process to outline an aggressively liberal and partisan agenda for their second term," Moran writes. "Less-noticed — but more important — has been the reaction from Democratic Senators facing re-election next year to the President's liberal push. That's because silence often goes unnoticed. In this case, the silence should be deafening."
A number of Democrats up for reelection in 2014 hail from red states where Obama's priorities aren't popular. And on issues like gun control, climate change and taxes, some have already sought distance themselves from Obama as he's been more vocal in arguing for his priorities since his reelection. Moran said Obama could be an albatross for many of them.
"The reality is while President Obama and his team burns the political capital that he believes was earned last November, he is lighting an inferno under the electoral prospects for a number Democratic Senate candidates in 2014," he wrote.
"Our team is ready to capitalize. As the President and Democratic leaders in Congress double-down on their demands for higher taxes to finance even more out of control spending Republicans welcome and look forward to that debate in states like Louisiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska, and many others."
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pushed back.
"National Republicans are repeating the same failed strategies that cost them two senate seats in 2012 — ignoring their unpopular policies, toxic brand and deep divisions in their own party," DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said in a statement. "In 2012 Karl Rove and the NRSC spent nearly all their resources trying to nationalize senate races. They can try to mask their own problems by disparaging the president all they want, but if they spend another cycle pretending senate campaigns are a referendum on Barack Obama then they will certainly remain in the minority for the foreseeable future."
This post was updated at 11:44 a.m.