John Raoux, Associated Press
Former President Bill Clinton speaks to supporters at a campaign event for Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Former President Bill Clinton says Democrats lacked a "national advertising campaign" in the recent midterm elections and was surprised that many Senate races were not closer.

Clinton says in an interview with Politico that voters who were opposed to Democrats felt more strongly about the election than those who supported his party. He says many people couldn't hear what he called "a fairly coherent economic message."

Clinton offered his first extensive comments on Democrats' sweeping losses in the November elections. Republicans won control of the Senate, extended their control of the House and captured governor's offices in several Democratic-leaning states.

The former president says a national advertising campaign stressing issues like student loans and equal pay for women might have helped Democrats in a number of close races.