Foreign policy talk "deprives oxygen" from Democrats in midterms

Foreign policy issues are stealing the spotlight as November midterm elections approach, and it's not helping the Democrats.

"To the extent we're all talking about foreign policy, it deprives oxygen from Democratic opponents who want to talk about their issues, their local issues," CBS News political director John Dickerson said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning," adding that some on the left are "depressed" about the situation.

Dickerson said Democrats want to address issues including increasing minimum wage and equal pay, not ISIS or other foreign policy problems.

"If you talk to voters and you say, 'What issue do you care about the most?' It's still domestic issues that they pick when they say what's driving their vote," Dickerson said. "But what's motivating Republicans in this election is disappointment with the president."

President Obama is not necessarily helping their cause, with his approval ratings at 45 percent.

"But in some of these states, his approval rating is lower in the states than it is nationally," Dickerson said. "One Republican said if he has the cold nationally, he has pneumonia in these key battleground states."

However, the president can raise money or rally the Democratic base, Dickerson said, especially since Democrats tend to have low voter turnout in non-presidential election years.

"So are they going to be so lackluster that the president has to be brought out to kind of roust them from their torpor?"

Dickerson said Republicans have had a "pretty good summer," jumping over primary election hurdles against tea party challengers.

"So right now it looks like Republicans will get three of the six seats they need. There are three races in West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana that are gone... That means Republicans need three more seats from about eight battleground races, and things are looking good for the Republicans right now," Dickerson said.