Obama draws money, crit­ics while help­ing fall can­di­dates

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

WASHINGTON — Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is ac­cel­er­at­ing his fundrais­ing pace, invit­ing Demo­cratic can­di­dates to de­cide whether the money he draws is worth the Repub­li­can attacks a pres­i­den­tial visit might bring.

For some, it’s no easy choice. Democrats need mil­lions of dol­lars to de­fend dozens of House and Se­nate seats this fall. But Obama’s ap­proval rat­ings are sink­ing well be­low 50 per­cent in sev­eral key states.

Obama is head­lin­ing four Demo­cratic fundrais­ers this week and host­ing an­other four events next week. For now, he’s play­ing it safe, hold­ing the eight events in non­com­pet­i­tive states or in a com­pet­i­tive place where he’s sure to be em­braced: his home state of Illi­nois.

As is true with most pres­i­dents, can­di­dates from his party know there’s of­ten a po­lit­i­cal cost to the hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars a pres­i­den­tial visit can net.

In Mis­souri, Repub­li­can Se­nate can­di­date Roy Blunt is air­ing a TV ad show­ing Demo­cratic op­po­nent Robin Car­na­han cam­paign­ing with Obama dur­ing his July 8 fundrais­ing visit to Kansas City. The ad says Car­na­han would be a “rub­ber stamp” for Obama’s poli­cies.

A re­cent statewide poll for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KMOV-TV found that 57 per­cent of likely Mis­souri vot­ers dis­ap­prove of Obama’s per­for­mance as pres­i­dent, while 34 per­cent ap­prove. Among in­de­pen­dent vot­ers, the pres­i­dent’s dis­ap­proval rate was 63 per­cent.

The poll showed Blunt lead­ing Car­na­han in the race to suc­ceed re­tir­ing GOP Sen. Kit Bond.

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