Former Rep. Frost: Obama Should Focus on Seniors, not Students

By Maya

Oct 1, 2010 3:27pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: We brought back our dueling strategists on ABC’s “Top Line” today, with former Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas, squaring off with former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. In a bit of role reversal, Davis said President Obama is smart to energize his base with visits to college campuses – while Frost said he’s misplacing his energy. “I’m not sure it’s the right strategy to be spending a lot of time on college campuses,” Frost said, “because first of all, young people historically don’t vote in off-years. And secondly, it sends the subliminal message to seniors and to blue-collar voters that he cares about young people, but he doesn’t care about them. Somehow, he’s got to cut his losses amongst seniors and blue-collar whites. He has an opportunity amongst seniors, because of the privatization issue of Social Security and Medicare. And I think you’re going to see that in a lot of ads in the next couple weeks.” Davis, meanwhile, said Obama is smart to focus on his base. He labeled Democratic efforts to target House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, as “stupid.”     “They’re missing the target when they do that. They need to get their base back. This is a lost year, in terms of independents at this point. They left town with a whimper, didn’t even address the tax cuts,” he said. “They need their base back, at this point. I think Obama ‘out on the hustings’ is probably pretty smart, actually. And going to college towns, African-American communities, urban areas. But they’ve got to get their base rallied at this point, and cut their losses.” Added Frost, on the target-Boehner strategy: “I agree. I don’t think there’s much to be gained by going after Boehner. First of all, most people don’t even know who he is.” We gave both men the chance to update their predictions from when they appeared on “Top Line” last month. Davis is sticking by his prediction that Republicans will pick up 50 seats: “We’ve got a month to go, but I still say 50.” Frost wants to increase his previous prediction of a 30-seat GOP pick-up; the need to net 39 seats to take over control of the House. “I’m going to revise and extend. I think it could be a range of 35 to 45. That’s net — after you take into account the seats we take away from them,” Frost said. Watch the full segment with Tom Davis and Martin Frost HERE. We also checked in with Bob Cusack, managing editor of The Hill newspaper, to chat about the end of the congressional session, but campaign messaging one month out. Watch that “Top Line” segment HERE.

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