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President Obama is urging voters to help Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn defeat Republican David Purdue, telling a radio station Thursday that Democratic control of the Senate depends on her victory.

“If Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate,” Obama told Atlanta radio station V-103. “And that means that we can keep on doing some good work. So, it is critically important to make sure that folks vote.”

{mosads}Recent polls have shown Nunn with a small lead over Perdue, despite the sizable Republican advantage in Georgia. An InsiderAdvantage survey released earlier this week gave the Democrat a 47-45 percent lead. 

The state has provided one of the few opportunities for Democrats to play offense in a cycle where the map heavily favors Republican ambitions.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested the president’s comments shouldn’t be taken literally.

“The observation that he’s making is, even in a difficult environment, like Georgia, that a Democratic candidate can prevail, that that might be an indication that Democratic candidates in other races are faring well, too, in environments, where there is a stronger track record, at least recently, of electing more Democrats to statewide office,” Earnest said.

The White House spokesman added that Obama was “mindful of the electoral map and understands what will be required to reelect enough Democratic senators or to elect enough Democratic candidates.”

In the radio interview, Obama said Nunn could be elected “if there’s a high turnout among Democrats.”

“If there’s low or ordinary turnout, she won’t win. … If folks in Georgia vote at the same rate in the midterms as they do in the presidential election, Michelle Nunn will win,” Obama said.

He went on to invoke the civil rights records of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

“You think about what the civil rights movement meant in Georgia, the notion that less than half of your people vote doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” Obama said.

Tags 2014 Georgia Senate Race David Perdue Georgia Michelle Nunn Obama

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