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Campaign swing takes Obama to California, Nevada

From Ed Henry, CNN Senior White House Correspondent
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Obama: We need you fired up
  • Critics say midterm election will be a referendum on Obama and his leadership
  • President Obama seeks to shore up embattled senators from California, Nevada, Washington
  • Obama is on a five-state, four-day tour
  • Obama will also make another campaign swing the final weekend before midterms

San Francisco, California (CNN) -- President Obama will wake up in San Francisco, California, on Friday amid a five-state, four-day tour aimed at propping up embattled key Senate incumbents.

Obama will fly to Los Angeles, California, to attend a fundraiser luncheon at the University of Southern California for Sen. Barbara Boxer and former Gov. Jerry Brown, before delivering remarks at a Democratic National Committee rally at USC's Alumni Park.

Boxer has opened a slight lead against Republican Carly Fiorina, as has Brown in his effort to win his old job back in a nasty battle with Republican Meg Whitman. National Democrats are still watching these races closely to ensure they don't slip out of their hands.

By Friday evening, the president will be in Las Vegas, Nevada, to attend a DNC rally at a middle school before heading to a private residence for a fundraising event for Sen. Harry Reid and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Reid is stuck in the mid-40s in most polls, despite months painting his Republican opponent, Tea Party-friendly Sharron Angle, as an extremist.

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On Saturday, Obama heads to Minnesota for a rally to support former Sen. Mark Dayton, who is running for governor. The president also will headline a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee before heading back to the White House on Saturday evening.

In addition, the president will attend another congressional campaign panel fundraiser Monday in Rhode Island before taking four days off from campaigning to tend to other business at the White House.

As the president stumps across the West for several Senate incumbents, Democratic officials revealed Thursday he will shift his attention to the Midwest and Northeast in the final weekend before the midterm election.

Obama will headline four major rallies for the Democratic National Committee in the final stretch, starting Saturday, October 30, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Both states have Senate battles that are simply too close to call, as well as competitive gubernatorial battles.

Also on that Saturday, Obama will return home to Chicago, where there is a tight gubernatorial fight and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is locked in a bitter battle with Republican Mark Kirk for Obama's old Senate seat. The state is also home to a close re-election battle for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Advisers to the president have privately said he's particularly concerned about the symbolism on election night if his party can't even hold his former Senate seat, which is why first lady Michelle Obama and the president each campaigned in Illinois earlier this month.

On Sunday, October 31, the president will return again to Ohio in his 12th visit as president -- just days after he and the first lady headlined their first joint rally there, drawing 35,000 people to the campus of Ohio State University.

White House aides have said they expect the president to be in Washington on Election Day, though that could always change if Democratic officials calculate that a last-minute visit will have an impact in another key race.

Vice President Joe Biden will join Obama at the Cleveland, Ohio, rally, according to Democratic officials, as the White House continues to very aggressively coordinate the travel of the president, vice president, and first lady for maximum benefit.

Biden led campaign events earlier this week in Washington, California, and Nevada -- three states the president is also hitting on his current five-state swing -- because of the urgency of saving incumbent Sens. Patty Murray, Boxer, and Reid.

Michelle Obama will also be visiting Washington and California next week, and then will be in Las Vegas for Reid on Monday, November 1, the day before Election Day.

That same day she will also headline an event in Philadelphia, a sure sign that the White House believes that Joe Sestak, the Democratic candidate for Senate that many pundits had written off, has a legitimate shot of knocking off Republican Pat Toomey.

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