NBC Warns: Midterm Election 'Holds the Fate of the Rest of the Obama Presidency'

On Tuesday morning, only NBC's Today marked the beginning of the 2014 midterm primary season and explained the dire situation for Democrats ahead on the November election. Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "While President Obama's dealing with the crisis in Ukraine, here at home, the future of his presidency could be at stake. The midterm primary season kicks off today, and this will affect who will control the levers of power in the coming years." [Listen to the audio]

In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd warned: "...it sets the stage for what's going to be an epic national battle in these midterms between the two parties for control of the Senate, which in turn, holds the fate of the rest of the Obama presidency."

Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning provided any midterm election coverage on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Todd described the uphill battle for Democrats:

Democrats are playing defense, polls show the party is vulnerable in as many as a dozen seats in the Senate. Republicans only need to win six of them for control. And the GOP play book, it's the same all over the country,  make the election about President Obama and his health care law....Many Democrats, particularly in the decisive red state Senate races, are running scared.

Todd highlighted Democratic candidates distancing themselves from Obama:

These midterm elections are going to end up being about one person who isn't on any ballot this year, President Obama, who is desperately trying to turn the campaign away from being about him....In Kentucky, Allison Lundergan Grimes avoids health care and says she doesn't need President Obama. Instead, she and other endangered Democrats are enlisting the help of another Democratic president.

A sound bite played of Bill Clinton campaigning for Grimes.

Trying to find a silver lining in the bad news, Todd turned to Texas and declared: "Democrats hope Wendy Davis' meteoric rise to national prominence translates into an upset over Republican Greg Abbott in the governor's race."

The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls has Abbott beating Davis by over eleven points.

Here is a transcript of Todd's March 4 report:

7:14 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And now to politics, while President Obama's dealing with the crisis in Ukraine, here at home, the future of his presidency could be at stake. The midterm primary season kicks off today, and this will affect who will control the levers of power in the coming years. Chuck Todd, NBC's chief White House correspondent and political director, is at the White House this morning. Chuck, good morning to you.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Let the Midterms Begin; Campaign Season Officially Kicks Off]

CHUCK TODD: Good morning, Savannah. Yes, an election day, very exciting. While it may seem Washington is in perpetual campaign mode, today actually kicks off the start of the 2014 campaign season. It's Texas that is hosting the first primaries of the year. And it sets the stage for what's going to be an epic national battle in these midterms between the two parties for control of the Senate, which in turn, holds the fate of the rest of the Obama presidency.

The eight-month campaign sprint officially begins today as Texas voters decide primaries up and down the ballot. But these midterm elections are going to end up being about one person who isn't on any ballot this year, President Obama, who is desperately trying to turn the campaign away from being about him.

BARACK OBAMA: Opportunity for a few or opportunity for all? That's what this election's about.

TODD: But the reality is, success or failure in this election all comes down to which party controls the Senate. Democrats are playing defense, polls show the party is vulnerable in as many as a dozen seats in the Senate. Republicans only need to win six of them for control. And the GOP play book, it's the same all over the country,  make the election about President Obama and his health care law.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL [SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER]: If I had my way about it, we'd repeal ObamaCare and start all over and get it right.

TODD: Many Democrats, particularly in the decisive red state Senate races, are running scared. In Kentucky, Allison Lundergan Grimes avoids health care and says she doesn't need President Obama. Instead, she and other endangered Democrats are enlisting the help of another Democratic president.

BILL CLINTON: Look, I love Kentucky. You've been good to me, you voted for me twice.

TODD: As for today's Texas races, two potential rising stars to keep an eye on.

WENDY DAVIS: I can't tell you how honored I am.

TODD: Democrats hope Wendy Davis' meteoric rise to national prominence translates into an upset over Republican Greg Abbott in the governor's race. And Texas Republicans are poised to elect their third George Bush to office in the last 50 years. This one is Jeb Bush's son, George P., he's favored to win his first election as state land commissioner.

The other part of this election season, Savannah, that is going to be huge is the amount of money that's going to be spent. In fact, already more money's been spent on these midterm elections than either George Bush or Al Gore spent in their presidential campaigns in 2000. It's going to be that much money.

GUTHRIE: Expensive new world, Chuck.

MATT LAUER: By the way, Chuck, my barber called, said he enjoyed meeting you.

[LAUGHTER]

TODD: Hey, I always say – I always tell people, "I'm Lauering." How else do I describe my hairstyle?  

LAUER: Looking good there, Chuck.

GUTHRIE: You wear it well, Chuck.

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.