SAN FRANCISCO — President Barack Obama is wrapping up a week that saw him raise campaign money for fellow Democrats on both coasts, and more is in on tap for the week ahead.
On Saturday, he was attending a “round table” discussion at a private home with about 25 supporters who paid up to $32,400 for the privilege, according to Democratic officials. The event, his fourth California fundraiser in three days, is closed to media coverage.
This coming week Obama makes his long-anticipated, first appearance at a campaign rally this election cycle. He’ll appear at an event Wednesday in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to boost Gov. Dannel Malloy and other state Democrats. Malloy is in a tight re-election race in a state Obama won easily in 2012.
Obama has been working hard all year to help raise money for Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates. But his dismal approval ratings — in the low 40s, according to recent polls — so far have kept him off the campaign trail as candidates have avoided appearing with him, especially those from states where Obama lost in past years.
But it has been expected that Obama, unpopular or not, would have to step up his involvement in the final weeks before the Nov. 4 elections, in which control of the Senate will be the night’s biggest prize. Democrats are currently in charge of the chamber, but Republicans can regain control by picking up just six seats.
The political party that controls the White House historically loses seats in Congress in the midterm election of the president’s second term, history that hardly favors an incumbent nearing the end of six years in office. Obama has chastised core Democratic constituencies for turning away from politics in years with no presidential election, but at the same time has appealed to them to snap out of their midterm election slumber and head to the polls next month to vote.
“If young people vote, if women vote, if people of color vote, if people who care about the environment vote, if people who care about LGBT rights vote, that’s a majority,” Obama told about 300 supporters at a Democratic National Committee event in San Francisco on Friday night.
“We’re going to have to feel the same sense of urgency as we do during presidential elections. If we do that, then we’re going to keep the Senate Democratic,” he said.
Obama returns to the White House on Saturday after spending the past three days in California, mostly for fundraising. He has more political events during the coming week.
On Tuesday, he’ll help raise money in the Washington area for Democratic House candidates.
On Wednesday, before heading to the Connecticut rally, Obama planned to travel to Union, New Jersey, to help raise money for Democratic Senate candidates.
He travels to New York’s Long Island on Thursday to headline a Democratic National Committee event.
Obama raised money earlier in the week in New York City and Greenwich, Conn.