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Democrats are facing the worst midterm Senate map since President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Obama bemoaned during an Election Day interview with a Connecticut radio station.


"There's no doubt that, when you look at the Senate races, because of the fact only a third of the Senate is up at any given time, it tends to be a little bit arbitrary which seats are really going to be contested and which aren't," Obama said. "So, for example, in this election cycle, this is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower."

"There are a lot of states that are being contested where they just tend to tilt Republican, and Democrats are competitive, but they just tend to tilt that way," Obama said.

The White House is insisting that Tuesday's contest should not be read as a referendum on the president, pointing partially to an unfavorable map to explain why Republicans are poised to seize control of the Senate.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that a "vast majority" of close Senate races were taking place in states Obama did not win in 2012, and Earnest argued, "the electorate is different this time than it is in a traditional presidential election.”

β€œIt would not be wise to draw as broad a conclusion about the outcome of this election as you would from a national presidential election, simply by virtue of the map and the states where this contest is taking place,” Earnest said.

In the 1958 midterm elections, Eisenhower (a Republican) saw the rival Democrats pick up 15 Senate seats, 13 of which had been previously occupied by the GOP and two of which were in the new state of Alaska.

The president, who is largely operating behind the scenes on Election Day, said he called the station because of concerns about irregularities at some poll locations in Connecticut.

"My understanding is, we had a bunch of people who did not have the opportunity to vote in Hartford early in the morning because the voter rolls hadn't gotten out to the polling places," Obama said.

The president urged voters to try again and indicated his support for a court order that would extend voting in the state.

"The main thing I just want to emphasize is, we just have to make sure those folks have the chance to vote, and I want to encourage everybody who's listening to not be deterred by what is obviously an inconvenience," Obama said.