A series of top Democratic campaigns across the country have released ads with the same surrogate this week: Former President Barack Obama.
Ahead of a more forceful return to the campaign trail next week, with trips to four battleground states, the former President has appeared in a range of television, radio and digital ads for gubernatorial and senatorial candidates in Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Florida.
The ads represent Obama’s most public foray into the midterms and come just days before the former President plans to stump with candidates in Georgia on October 28, in Michigan and Wisconsin on October 29 and in Nevada on November 1. A spokesman for the former President says more ads for other Democratic candidates are expected to be released next week.
In Senate contests, Obama has cut ads for Sen. Maggie Hassan, the Democratic incumbent in New Hampshire locked in a tight race with Republican Don Bolduc; Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the party’s nominee in the Keystone State who represents Democrats’ best chance of flipping a Senate seat this cycle; and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democratic nominee in the Badger State who is vying to unseat Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.
“So, when the fate of our democracy and a woman’s right to choose are on the line, I know John will fight for Pennsylvanians,” Obama says in the ad for Fetterman. “You can count on John Fetterman. Make sure he can count on you.”
And of Barnes, Obama says: “Wisconsin, you’ve got a big responsibility this year. Control of the Senate is in your hands.”
In gubernatorial contests, Obama has appeared in ads backing Gov. Steve Sisolak, the Democratic incumbent in Nevada; Gov. Tony Evers, the Democratic incumbent in Wisconsin; Charlie Crist, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee challenging Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida; and Gov. JB Pritzker, the Democratic incumbent in Illinois.
“If you care about protecting your right to vote, protecting access to abortion, and investing in our kids’ public education, you need to get out and vote for my friend Gov. Tony Evers,” Obama says in his Wisconsin spot.
In his Nevada ad, Obama says: “I know you always hear about how “this” or “that” election is the most important ever, but the one happening right now really does matter, and here’s why. Gov. Steve Sisolak is in a real fight. Republicans are spending millions trying to defeat him. And we can’t let that happen.”
To date, Obama’s involvement in the midterms has primarily been through fundraisers, with the former president raising money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee in August and September.
By stumping for Democratic candidates, Obama is hoping to help his one-time vice president, President Joe Biden, avoid the kind of “shellacking” the former president took during the 2010 midterms, when Democrats lost control of the House and lost seven seats in the Senate. The party in power two years after winning the White House often suffers significant loses in the subsequent midterms.