Democrats face tough election year |

Democrats face tough election year

WASHINGTON (AP) – A one-two punch of bad news has Democrats facing an election year with campaign finance rules that favor Republicans and a Senate that can block Democratic initiatives. And President Barack Obama called on the leader of his winning 2008 campaign to help.

Democrats were bracing for House and Senate losses in November, which typically happens to a president’s party after his first two years in office. But a stunning GOP Senate victory in Massachusetts, and a dramatic Supreme Court ruling on political advertising, have made the horizon look even darker for the party.

The week that marked Obama’s first year in office turned out to be one of the worst in recent Democratic memory.

David Plouffe, who led Obama’s winning presidential campaign, also will play a larger role in advising the president on strategies for House, Senate and governor’s races as reeling Democrats try to rally in an important election year.

The week’s first Demo-cratic setback can be blamed squarely on the party’s poor performance coupled with a stellar campaign by GOP state senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts.