President Barack Obama is in the White House directing Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, but he’s rapidly deploying his emergency reaction units to fend off GOP assaults on the Democratic-tilting states of Wisconsin, Colorado, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
Former President Bill Clinton is being rushed to two morning events in Minnesota, before being deployed to Colorado for two more rallies.
Clinton’s morning events are slated for Minneapolis and Duluth. In the afternoon, he’s flying into Colorado’s Commerce City and Denver.
The four events are part of a multi-stage tour that will take him through Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.
He’s also begun spending advertising money in Pennsylvania to counter a renewed GOP effort in the blue state.
Gov. Mitt Romney is slated to appear at an Ohio rally, while Rep. Paul Ryan will be in Wisconsin. Ann Romney is scheduled to appear at events in Wisconsin and Iowa.
All three will combine their political appearance with events to raise aid for people in the path of Hurricane Sandy.
Romney and Ryan have canceled some events because of the hurricane.
“Out of sensitivity to those in the storm’s path and to ensure the safety of those in the area, Gov. Romney canceled his event last night in Wisconsin, while Congressman Ryan canceled his events yesterday in Melbourne and Lakeland, Florida,” said a campaign statement.
Clinton is playing a larger role in Obama’s campaign because Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have stepped down their campaigns amid the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy. (RELATED: Hurricane Sandy drowns coverage of White House scandals)
Obama scrapped planned appearances in Wisconsin and Colorado. He’s instead now highlighting his role as president amid the hurricane relief efforts.
That’s gotten him some useful praise, including praise from New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Democratic partisans are trumpeting his role. “Politics on pause. … Christie with strong reviews for President Obama’s response. ‘The President has been outstanding,'” said a Oct. 30 tweet from Bill Burton, founder of a pro-Obama super-PAC, Priorities USA Action.
Biden scrapped two Ohio events and one Pennsylvania event planned or Oct. 30.
However, Obama’s campaign office announced Oct. 30 that he is slated to fly to Wisconsin on Friday, Nov. 2.
Clinton’s appearance is Minnesota may be explained by narrowing polls.
For example, three polls taken from Oct. 15 to Oct. 25 show Obama’s lead in the state dropping from 8 percent to 3 percent, according to a database of polls collected by RealClearPolitics.
Recent polls in Colorado show a similar trend that leaves Romney up one percent in the latest poll, taken Oct. 25 to Oct. 28.
New polls in Wisconsin show Obama holding a narrow lead of 2.3 percent, but a Oct. 25 poll taken by Rasmussen shows a tie at 49 percent.
Obama remains slightly ahead in Iowa, but GOP advocates think new polls will narrow the gap, partly because all four of the state’s major newspapers have endorsed Romney.