Obama draws money, critics while helping fall candidates
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.