President Obama is participating in his 56th fundraiser of 2014, Republicans note, as his fading popularity limits his ability to support Democratic candidates otherwise.
“Today Obama is doing three fundraisers to help Democrats running in the midterms, which brings his total to 56 this year,” Republican National Committee spokesman Raffi Williams points out. “This is interesting given that Senate Democrats are running from him and his policies every chance they get. With Obama’s toxic approval ratings it’s not surprising that vulnerable Democrats want to hide how indebted to Obama they are if they get reelected.”
The fundraisers “will take place in private, sparing the candidates on the ballot from a presidential photo op that could wind up in a Republican campaign ad,” according to the Associated Press.
The RNC list of Obama’s fundraisers shows that he has helped the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Governors’ Association. He has also raised money for Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s super PAC, the Senate Majority PAC. Reid’s group is “the biggest spending super PAC by far,” according to NPR.
It’s unsurprising that Obama is raising money for his party, but the Democrats’ dependence on a financial advantage this cycle puts candidates who are avoiding Obama in an awkward spot. They don’t want him around, but they need the money he raises.
“President Obama’s name is not on the ballot and on Election Day I won’t owe President Obama anything,” Representative Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) said, for instance, during his first Senate debate with Republican opponent Joni Ernst.