And that was the point: Other than raising big money for the party, Obama has not been involved in direct campaigning in the most heavily contested Senate races, as Democrats trying to hang onto the upper chamber fear his low public approval ratings could be a drag at the polls. Republicans need to pick up a net of six seats on Tuesday to win control.
For the most part, the president has been appearing with Democratic gubernatorial candidates in safer blue states.
In addition to Peters, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer also appeared before the crowd of 6,012 at Wayne State University. Schauer faces a tougher road than Peters, as he attempts to unseat Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in a race that polls show going down to the wire. Democrats hope Obama’s appearance will help drive Election Day turnout among the Democratic base.
Obama wraps up his campaigning Sunday with visits to Bridgeport, Conn., where he’ll appear with Gov. Dan Malloy (D), and Philadelphia, where he’ll make remarks on behalf of Thomas Wolf, a Democratic businessman running for governor of Pennsylvania.
Here in the Motor City, Obama was able to boast about his administration’s efforts to help rescue Chrysler and General Motors from potential bankruptcy, with $80 million in government loans. Both Peters and Schauer touted Obama’s role in helping save the auto industry, a popular victory in a city where many are employed by it.
“Thank god our president stood up for American workers!” Peters said.
“I don’t have to tell you the auto industry that was on the brink of collapse is back on its feet, making better cars than ever right here in Michigan,” the president said
Obama, whose job approval ratings are hovering in the low 40 percent range, appeared buoyed before the friendly audience, and at moments he seeme to be back in his element.
The president took the stage to raucous applause and one of his staple campaign theme songs from 2008 and 2012, U2’s “City of Blinding Lights."
“We got folks fired up? We got folks ready to go?” he asked the crowd, to whoops and hollers. Then, making sure they knew the big date, he added: “Three days, three days, Michigan.”