President Obama warned that Democrats often get into trouble during the midterm elections because state-level races aren't as "sexy" as national presidential elections during a meeting with Democratic governors and party donors Thursday night.

"We know how to win national elections," Obama said. "But all too often it's during these midterms where we end up getting ourselves into trouble because, I guess we don't think it's sexy enough."


Obama encouraged attendees to stay focused on state policies and politics.

"The challenge in politics sometimes is that the national races get all the attention. But so often the policies that impact people day to day are being determined by governors and state legislatures," Obama said.

"And if there's one message that I want to deliver today to every Democrat and every person who's interested in supporting Democratic policies, is that you've got to pay attention to the states."

During the meeting at a luxury hotel near the White House, Obama said that while those at the top were doing better in recent years, the middle class was still getting squeezed. He said voters understood his policy proposals, including ObamaCare and the minimum wage, were the right thing to do.

The meeting with Democrats on Thursday night begins a blitz of meetings with governors for the president in the coming days. On Friday, Obama will meet with Democratic governors at the White House. Over the weekend, the Obamas will host a full gathering of governors and their spouses at the White House. And on Monday, Obama will meet with a bipartisan panel of governors.

"The message that the President wants to convey to those governors is about his commitment to expanding economic opportunity for every single American in this country," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.