Trying to get out the vote for Democrats in danger of losing one or both houses of Congress on Nov. 2, President Barack Obama is pouring it on with up-close campaigning reminiscent of 2008 as he visits coffee shops and works rope lines.
On a five-state Western tour, Obama began his morning on Thursday with a stop at the “Top Pot” doughnut shop in Seattle, which featured such delectables as Ovaltine Latte, honey-glazed doughnuts and assorted pastries.
“Hi guys. How are you? Good to see you,” Obama told the servers before placing an order for two dozen doughnuts that he shared with his staff and traveling reporters. (Those who sampled them gave rave reviews).
In the store with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, patrons snapped pictures of Obama and he made sure to shake every hand as he walked through with Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat who is in a tough race against Republican Dino Rossi for the Senate seat from Washington state. One of the customers asked him to pass along a “hello” to Bo, the first family’s dog.
Following the doughnut stop, Obama held forth at a backyard “town hall-style” event with mostly women voters at the Seattle home of Erik and Cynnie Foss.
With a perceived “enthusiasm gap” in the congressional election that pollsters see favoring Republicans, White House officials say their aim in these stops is to energize supporters and remind them to vote. They see a high-visibility event by Obama as helpful to that effort, especially in states like Washington and California, where he remains popular despite sliding approval ratings nationally.
Obama’s campaign swing took him to Oregon on Wednesday and will include stops in California, Nevada and Minnesota. It’s his last extended tour before Election Day, though he plans to visit Rhode Island next Monday and then campaign in some still-to-be-announced states in the final weekend.