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Obama campaigns for key Democratic senators

 U.S. Senator Harry Reid speaks during a support rally for the Democratic Senate Majority Leader at the University of Nevada, Reno campus in Reno, Nev...
 U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) speaks at a news conference to announce the first major federal investment the 30/10 Initiative, which proposes th...
 President Barack Obama greets Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., second from left, and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., left, as San Francisco Mayor Gavin News...
 President Barack Obama points to someone in the crowd during a rally for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., at the University of Washington in Seattle, Thur...
 FILE - This file photo shows President Barack Obama waving outside  Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles Tuesday, April ...

Nevada Senate Biden

U.S. Senator Harry Reid speaks during a support rally for the Democratic Senate Majority Leader at the University of Nevada, Reno campus in Reno, Nev...

California Senate Boxer

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) speaks at a news conference to announce the first major federal investment the 30/10 Initiative, which proposes th...

Obama

President Barack Obama greets Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., second from left, and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., left, as San Francisco Mayor Gavin News...

Obama

President Barack Obama points to someone in the crowd during a rally for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., at the University of Washington in Seattle, Thur...

Obama Traffic

FILE - This file photo shows President Barack Obama waving outside Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles Tuesday, April ...

President Barack Obama, with elections little more than a week away, looked Friday to jolt the campaigns of two powerful _ but vulnerable _ Demoratic senators.
Obama was starting the day at a rally for Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is struggling to fend off a challenge from Republican Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive. A Boxer loss in what is generally a Democratic stronghold would be disheartening for the party and damage its chances of preserving its majority in the Senate.
The president then heads to Nevada for the highest-profile race, in which the most powerful Senate Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, appears deadlocked in contest with Republican Sharron Angle, a favorite of the ultraconservative tea party movement.
Obama is on a four-day campaign swing, visiting states where Democratic Party strategists think he's the best person to help encourage core supporters _ women, minorities, young people _ to vote next month.
Republicans have a shot at taking control the House of Representatives in the Nov. 2 elections and possibly the Senate, thanks to voter anger over the stagnant economy. If Obama's Democrats lose their majority, it would stall his agenda for the last two years of his presidency.
Focused on turning out base voters, Obama is being cheered at raucous rallies and spreading this message: Don't turn your back on the change happening in Washington. At every stop, Obama is reminding audiences of the passion they felt in 2008 when they helped elect him and is urging them to keep the feeling alive amid the weight of the worst economic downturn in a generation.
But the task of turning out voters is harder this time around. Turnout typically is lower in non-presidential election years, and the party in control of the White House traditionally loses seats in Congress in the off years.
The White House is also mindful of what's at stake should the Republican Party increase its ranks in Congress, or perhaps pick up the 40 seats the party needs to win back control of the 435-seat House. More Republicans could translate into scant progress on the to-do list for the second half of Obama's presidency.
A crowd of 30,000 people was expected at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on Friday, the third day of Obama's swing. He is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser for Boxer before addressing a Democratic rally at Alumni Park on campus alongside Boxer and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.
Obama was on his third trip in recent months to help Boxer raise money, and he recently taped a radio ad for her.
From Los Angeles, Obama was flying to Las Vegas to boost Reid, who is a top Republican target competing in the most closely watched Senate matchup this year.
Reid helped push Obama's economic recovery, health care and financial regulation bills through the Senate but he's paying the price as a result. He is unpopular in his home state, which is suffering economically and is plagued by the country's highest rates of unemployment (14.4 percent) and home foreclosures.
Reid says Angle's conservative positions make her too "extreme" for Nevada and that they will help voters forget their economic problems long enough to send him back to the Senate.
Obama spent part of Thursday in Seattle, campaigning with Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and courting women voters. Murray also is in a tight re-election fight.
Women traditionally lean toward Democrats but the latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows that, at a time of great economic angst, those who are likely to vote are now split about evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
Obama also addressed a 10,000-person rally for Murray at the University of Washington. His voice hoarse from speechmaking, Obama said he knows it's hard for some people to be optimistic about the future when relatives can't find jobs after months of trying or when another foreclosure sign is hung down the street or when they see candidates putting sniping at each other in negative campaign ads.
"But I want, I want everybody to understand this," he said. "I want everybody to understand, you can't let it get to you. Don't ever let anybody tell you that this fight is not worth it. Don't let them tell you that you're not making a difference."
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Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-10-28 09:53 GMT+08:00