David Yates Aug. 1, 2014, 12:14pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – A Wednesday article in The Hill suggests a low voter turnout so far in the primaries may have Democrats worried and on the offensive to make a push for more donations – a conclusion supported by a recent barrage of money-seeking emails from an Illinois Congressional candidate.

In her article, Alexandra Jaffe writes both parties have made their “get out the vote” programs a top priority for November, investing millions in building bigger ground operations earlier than ever before.

Democrats, who possibly face losing the Senate majority and more seats in the House, have devised a rallying call: a speculated Republican-led effort to impeach President Barak Obama and an ongoing GOP lawsuit against his administration over executive overreach.

“Their push this week to raise the alarm — and campaign cash — over the GOP lawsuit against President Obama and to stoke fears of impeachment shows just how worried Democrats are,” Jaffe wrote.

A race where the Democrat might be “worried” is Illinois’ 13th Congressional District.

Despite being the preferred candidate of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, former Madison County judge Ann Callis continues to be outraised by her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis.

So far in the 2014 election cycle, Callis has raised $1.3 million, only half the amount of Davis’ $2.6 million, according to June 30 campaign finance reports filed the Federal Election Commission.

Seeking to reverse the trend, Callis has sent out a flurry of emails to supporters in recent weeks, seeking campaign donations and hammering the Republican attack.

“I wouldn’t email you two days in a row if I didn’t need your immediate help... Davis outraised us – again (and) Speaker (John) Boehner reserved $72O,OOO on the Illinois airwaves just to attack me,” Callis wrote in a Tuesday email. “(W)e have to fight back right now. If we don’t, our Democratic campaign could be doomed from the start.”

Callis’ predicament has not escaped the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“If you ask Democrat voters if they are excited about the upcoming midterm elections the answer would be no. And that’s a HUGE issue for Democrat Ann Callis in Illinois’ 13th District,” said Katie Prill, a NRCC spokesperson, in a Wednesday blog post.

The Hill reported on how national Democrats are starting to worry that the lack of enthusiasm is going to hurt their candidates this fall. Callis already faced low turnout for the Democrat primary this past March and with Quinn’s approval ratings getting worse by the minute, it’s easy to see a scenario where Callis really struggles to get her base to show up on Election Day.”

The Hill article to which Prill refers states that a report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate had troubling news for both parties: Turnout in the 25 states that have already held statewide primaries this cycle has declined about 3.5 percent from 2010, down to 14.8 percent of the voting-age population.

The report also says turnout in 15 of the 25 states hit record lows, and that only three had higher turnout this cycle than in 2010.

Callis stepped down from a 19-year career on the bench last year to make a bid for the 13th Congressional District. In the March primary, she easily defeated challengers George Gollin and David Green, allowing her to go on to face Davis in the November general election.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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