“People on Capitol Hill, they watch the news”
President Barack Obama, on a campaigning blitz for fellow Democrats facing tough fights to stay in office, or get there, is trying to tie the state races to national issues to convince voters their ballot will have a broader impact.
“People on Capitol Hill, they watch the news,” he said.
On Wednesday, the president flew to New Jersey for a rally backing Governor Jon Corzine, who only just climbed into a tie with his Republican opponent, according to opinion polls.
Corzine is struggling in his bid for re-election Nov. 3, although New Jersey is a heavily Democratic state.
On Friday, Obama spent the afternoon at events for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who also faces a stiff fight for re-election next year and low opinion poll numbers, although he too runs a state that is thoroughly blue.
Obama was set to visit Connecticut, another strongly Democratic state, Friday evening to help raise money for Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. His popularity has been hit by voters’ perception that the five-term U.S. senator is too close to the finance industry largely blamed for the international economic slump. Dodd is up for re-election in 2010.
And next Tuesday, Obama will hold a rally for Creigh Deeds, a Virginia state senator trailing by double digits in that state’s governor’s race against its Republican attorney general, Robert McDonnell. Virginia and New Jersey are the only U.S. statehouses up for grabs on Nov. 3.
Virginia has a history of being a tough one for Democrats — last year Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win there since 1964 — but its last two governors have been Democrats, as are its two U.S. senators.
“People on Capitol Hill, they watch the news,” Obama told a crowd of Patrick supporters in Boston.
“And they say, ‘well, gosh … if that kind of governor isn’t rewarded, then maybe I shouldn’t, as a member of Congress or senator, take some chances, take some tough stands in pursuit of the same vision.’”
Will voters really see their state races through a national lens?
Photo credits: Obama and Patrick and Obama and Corzine, REUTERS/Jason Reed