American • Obama unlikely to stump for other Dems this fall
Obama unlikely to stump for other Dems this fall
byHayley Peterson Examiner Staff Writer
President Obama is likely to play only a minor role in congressional races across the country this fall as his own re-election contest tightens and his fellow Democrats grow reluctant to publicly embrace an incumbent president whose popularity with voters has waned.
“Obama will not be asked [to campaign for Democrats] in a lot of places,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “He will only be asked in heavily blue districts and states.”
Democrats would need to win an additional 25 seats to take control of the House, and they need to hold on to all of their current Senate seats to maintain their four-vote majority in the upper chamber.
Missouri and Montana, which both lean Republican, are among the states where Democrats don’t plan to campaign with Obama, Sabato said.
“Claire McCaskill cannot afford to be seen with Barack Obama; Jon Tester cannot afford to be seen with Barack Obama,” Sabato said, referring to Democratic incumbent senators up for election in Missouri and Montana, respectively.
If McCaskill, Tester and other Democrats running in Republican-leaning states openly embrace Obama over the next five months, they risk alienating the moderate voters on whom their own political fates may depend, analysts said.
“President Obama has to run his race,” Tester told Esquire. “I’m gonna run my race. And they’re gonna be two separate races.”
If an election becomes a referendum on a sitting president, the president’s party tends to lose, noted one Democratic strategist with ties to the White House.
But not all Democrats will be dodging photo ops with Obama.
In the deeply blue state of Massachusetts, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has been talking up her ties to Obama in television ads targeting Republican Sen. Scott Brown.
Obama’s approval ratings remain high in Massachusetts, where in 2008 he won 62 percent of the vote over Arizona Sen. John McCain. The president’s fundraising prowess also could prove valuable to a nonincumbent like Warren.
Likewise, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine hasn’t ducked his ties to Obama in his run for a Senate seat, most likely against Republican George Allen, also a former Virginia governor. Kaine, who led the Democratic National Committee for Obama, is hosting a campaign event for Obama campaign workers Sunday in Charlottesville.
With Obama’s own re-election race against Republican Mitt Romney already tightening, some analysts wonder whether the president will even have time to worry about other Democrats.
The Obama campaign did not respond to The Washington Examiner’s inquiry regarding which candidates, if any, the president plans on campaigning for in the coming months.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:28 am
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