President Barack Obama’s top political strategist acknowledged Friday the administration is facing an uphill battle in its effort to win Republican votes for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, but he said that doesn’t mean Kagan will stop trying.

David Axelrod, who advised Obama’s presidential campaign before becoming a White House senior adviser, spoke with reporters on a conference call. He cited the hyper-partisanship in Congress and the upcoming midterm elections as among the reasons that Republican votes to confirm Kagan will be hard to come by.

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