On Sunday, Barack and Michelle Obama held a joint campaign rally at Ohio State University in Columbus. Democratic candidates for senator and governor face an uphill battle in Ohio, which Obama won in 2008. The turnout at Sunday's rally was reportedly one of the largest at any event of Obama's presidency, but analysts remain skeptical about Democrats' chances in the state.
Record Crowds, notes the AFP. "Ohio State University police estimated the crowd at 35,000 -- the biggest political throng Obama has drawn since his inauguration in January 2009."
But Ohio Is Tough Going for Dems, points out Glenn Thrush at Politico. "Most Ohio Democrats would settle for anything short of Armageddon on Nov. 2," Thrush writes. "Obama was introduced by Gov. Ted Strickland, who trails Republican John Kasich in most polls, and Senate candidate Lee Fisher, who is increasingly likely to be blown out by GOP candidate Rob Portman." Thrush quotes the 35,000 attendance figure, but adds that "the light mood cloaked a growing anxiety in a state that has lost 400,000 jobs in the Great Recession – and seen Obama plunge in state approval polls."
The Sound Won't Carry, declares Walter Shapiro at Politics Daily. "What happens in the Columbus media market tends to stay in the Columbus media market," Shapiro writes. "In Cincinnati, for example, where incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus is facing a daunting re-election campaign, I asked him about the spillover effects of Obama's appearance on his race ... 'If Obama came to Cincinnati it would be different,' said Driehaus. 'But Columbus is 100 miles away. It doesn't matter.'"
Good Luck Mobilizing the Youth Vote, says Gary Langer at ABC News. "Relying on young voters in a midterm election" is a "troubling sign," says Langer. Obama is trying to turn out young people in the same proportions as the 2008 elections, but Langer submits that "the thing about young voters in midterms is that they're like cabs when you most need 'em. Odds are, they won't show up."