Dems, GOP Battle for Midterm Voter Enthusiasm

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Candidates across the country have only weeks left to make their case to the voters even as billions of dollars are being spent on TV ads.

Democrats are at risk of loosing the majority and many are turning to President Barack Obama for help. Obama hit the campaign trail Thursday in Maryland and Illinois.

Still, Republicans are gaining momentum as they stick the same anti-Washington message voters have heard all year. But will it take them to victory?

For Republicans in the closing weeks of the campaign, the message is clear -- run against Washington and the Democratic leadership. That has the White House urging Democrats to get to the polls or risk Republicans turning back the clock.

"You'll see a re-run of the last movie that ended in devastation for so many Americans," Vice President Joe Biden said.

In the nation's marquee Senate race in Florida, three candidates squared off Wednesday in their first debate. Republican Marco Rubio holds a healthy lead with his pledge to shake up Washington.

"If you support the direction Washington is taking America, then I'm probably not your candidate," Rubio said while campaigning.

The Tea Party favorite is trying to hold off Gov. Charlie Crist, who quit the GOP to run as an independent.

"I think both parties are to blame. That's why I'm running as an independent," Crist said.

Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek supports the Obama agenda and is running third.

"I'm leaving a very safe House seat to run for U.S. Senate because I'm frustrated with all of the 'no,' and the filibuster, and all of the things that are going on in the Senate that has this country on lock down," he said.

This week, an ABC News-Washington Post poll revealed Democrats may be closing the enthusiasm gap with Republicans. GOP voters have been much more energized this year. But Democrats have to reach independents to avoid losing in a landslide Nov. 2.

"You can't lose independents by 20 points and expect to win a lot of those seats even if you get Democrats to turn out at their traditional levels," ABC News political director Amy Walters explained.

With both parties entering the big spending season, voters and non-voters alike can expect an assault of debates and campaign ads for the rest of the month.

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

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