President Barack Obama (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
It turns out that the November congressional elections dominated President Obama's meeting Monday with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.
In addition to Reid, D-Nevada, the meeting also included Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Guy Cecil, the committee's executive director.
Democrats already face an uphill effort in seeking to regain the House majority from the Republicans in November. Some party members are also concerned about being able to hold onto the Democratic majority in the Senate after the elections.
The Democrats currently enjoy a 55-45 advantage in the Senate, including two independents who caucus with the majority. Republicans will need a net gain of six seats to win a new Senate majority.
Of the 35 Senate seats that are up in November, Democrats are having to defend 21 of them.
That includes races in red states like Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, and North Carolina, and other states where Obama lost in his own 2012 re-election campaign or is otherwise unpopular.
So one strategic question for this year's Senate elections: How often -- and where -- will Obama campaign for fellow Democrats?