President Obama will make his twelfth trip to Ohio this weekend, his second in only two weeks, as Democrats scramble to hold on to key seats in the Midwest.
At the top of the president’s agenda is the reelection of Democratic governor Ted Strickland, who is trailing Republican John Kasich in most polls. Vice President Biden will join the president in Cleveland on Sunday. Former president Bill Clinton will stump with Strickland on Saturday. As Kasich told us earlier this week, Ohio is “ground zero” for the White House as they look ahead to the 2012 presidential campaign.
“It looks like they’re trying to make a firewall,” says Gov. Haley Barbour (R., Miss.), the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, who will campaign with Kasich later today. “If you look at all of the union money that’s been spent in Ohio, and all of the left-wing groups that have been there, it gives you the impression that they believe what Strickland said several times earlier in the campaign: For Obama to be reelected, he has to carry Ohio, and if Strickland is reelected, there’s a better chance that Obama carries Ohio. It sounds like they believe that.”
Barbour is keeping busy these days. “There are so many close races,” he says. This week, he has traveled to Wyoming, New Mexico, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, where we met up with him this morning. After the Keystone State, where he rallied for Republicans Tom Corbett and Pat Toomey, Barbour will head to Ohio, Michigan, Oregon, Minnesota, and Florida for a final “get out the vote” push.