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Obama wrapping up California fundraising trip

October 11, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — President Barack Obama on Saturday wrapped up a week that saw him raise campaign money for fellow Democrats on both coasts.

Obama attended a “round table” discussion at the home of Democratic donor Mark Pincus, founder of the Zynga social game company, and his wife, Ali, with about 25 supporters who paid up to $32,400 for the privilege, according to Democratic officials.

It was Obama’s fourth California fundraiser in three days and was closed to media coverage.

This coming week brings more of the same for the president, including his long-anticipated, first appearance at a campaign rally this election season. At an event Wednesday in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he’ll help boost Gov. Dannel Malloy and state Democrats. Malloy is in a tight re-election race in a state Obama won easily in 2012.

Obama has worked hard all year to help raise money for Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates. But his low approval ratings — with percentages in the low 40s, according to recent polls — so far have kept him off the campaign trail as candidates, especially those from states which Obama lost in the 2012 presidential election, have avoided appearing with him.

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 put themselves back at the helm by picking up just six seats. That would make it more difficult for Obama to implement his policy agenda for the last two years of his term, and create roadblocks for getting his nominees for judicial and other government posts confirmed by the Senate.

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 without a presidential election but also 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. His schedule for the coming week is packed with more political events.


Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

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