Washington: US President Barack Obama on Sunday pursued a coast-to-coast campaign blitz through key battlegrounds, looking to energize Democrats and stave off a likely drubbing in elections barely two weeks off.
"This is a tough political environment," he told a cheering crowd during a tag-team campaign trip on Friday in Delaware, home patch of Vice President Joe Biden. "I need you all to keep on fighting."
With the November 2 contest set to turn on deep voter anger at the sour US economy, high joblessness, and soaring home foreclosures, Obama has been warning his Republican foes will make things worse.
"The other side wants you to believe that this election is simply a referendum on the current state of the economy, but make no mistake," he said. "This election is a choice. And the stakes couldn`t be higher."
"The last thing we should do is return to a philosophy that nearly destroyed our economy," said Obama, who delivered much the same message Saturday at a rally for a political kindred spirit, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.
Obama`s Republican foes, meanwhile, surfed a political spending tidal wave designed to sweep away weakened White House allies and capture at least the House of Representatives in the November 2 contest.
And they have hammered at the ballooning US national debt and what they described as runaway government spending, vowing to cut taxes and rein in Washington.
Analysts predicted that Republicans stood a solid chance of netting the 39 seats they needed to retake the House and would seize key governorships but fall just short of the 10 new seats needed to seize the Senate.
On Sunday, Obama was to get a charge of enthusiasm from his wife Michelle Obama, appearing together on the campaign trail for the first time since the 2008 presidential race with two events in Ohio.
The First Lady made her 2010 stump debut last week, pleading in compassionate tones for patience with the sluggish pace of economic recovery nearly two years after her husband won the White House.
"I know that a lot of folks are still hurting, I know that for a lot of folks, change hasn`t come fast enough," she said while campaigning for Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, who looks headed for defeat in Wisconsin.
The president was to set off on a four-day campaign swing starting Wednesday to prop up vulnerable candidates, pour fresh cash into party coffers, and renew a bond with voters who helped put him in the White House and will likely be called upon again in his re-election bid in 2012.
He will begin in Oregon, a far western state with an independent streak, where, as presidential hopeful, Obama stunned political observers in May 2008 by pulling in a crowd estimated at 75,000 people to an outdoor rally.