President Barack Obama took his attack on the economic policies of George W. Bush to his predecessor’s home state of Texas today, at a pair of Democratic fundraisers.
But even as he hits the campaign trail in earnest, we wonder how much use the president will be in boosting the electoral fortunes of his own party in November’s elections. For sure, the president will help enormously to bring in the bucks, but how many votes will he corral as well?
Many Democrats will want to keep their distance from a president whose approval ratings just keep falling. Bill White for one. The Democratic nominee for Texas governor declined an invitation to attend Obama’s events, a decision the White House said it didn’t take as an insult.
Colorado holds two Senate primaries on Tuesday, and both are looking like close races with establishment favorites facing strong challenges from rising insurgents. The Democratic race pits Obama-backed candidate, Senator Michael Bennet, against former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who interestingly has been endorsed by Bill Clinton. But even in this Democratic primary, veteran local pollster Floyd Cirulli says Obama’s support “is not hurting Bennet, but he doesn’t really seem to be helping him either.”
David Axelrod told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the White House was well aware Obama was more popular in some states and some districts than in others. “Look, these candidates are going to make the decisions they think are best for them,” he said. “We wish them well.”