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TODAY   |  March 04, 2014

Campaign season officially kicks off

The future of President Barack Obama’s presidency could be at stake as the midterm primary season kicks off today in Texas. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>> dealing with a 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 at the white house this morning. chuck, good morning to you.

>> good morning, savannah. yes, an election day , very exciting. 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 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 campaign sprint officially begins today as texas voters decide primaries up and down the valley. these midterm elections are going to be 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.

>> opportunity for a few or opportunity for all. that's what this election's about.

>> 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 want to win six of them for control. and the gop playbook, it's the same all over the country. maybe the election about president obama and his health care law .

>> if i had my way about it, we'd repeal obama care and start all over and get it right.

>> many democrats particularly in the decisive red state senate races are running scared. in kentucky, allison avoids health care and says she doesn't need president obama . instead, she and other endangered democrats are enlisting the help of another democrating president.

>> you've been good to me, you voted for me twice.

>> reporter: two potential rising stars to keep an eye on.

>> i can't tell you how honored i am.

>> reporter: democrats hope wendy davis ' meteoric rise translates into an update 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, he's favored to win his first election.

>> reporter: the other part of this election season, savannah, that is going to be huge is the amount of money going to be spent. more money's been spent on these midterm elections than either george bush or al gore spent in their presidential campaign in 2000 . it's going to be that much money.

>> expensive new world, chuck.

>> by the way, chuck, my barber called said he enjoyed meeting you.

>> hey, i always say -- i tell people, i'm lauering.