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President Barack Obama is hitting the campaign trail Wednesday after weeks of stories documented just how unpopular he is in the states where Democratic candidates most need help.
But he won’t be heading to Colorado, or Iowa, or New Hampshire – where Democrats are playing defense to try to maintain control of the United States Senate. Instead, he’ll be campaigning in deep blue states to help mostly governors – not Senate candidates – as his party hopes to make statehouses a bright spot in an otherwise grim-looking Democratic year.
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It is, of course, worth noting that some of the most competitive Senate rates this cycle are in places - Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana - that have never been kind to him. Even with a reasonably good approval rating, he still wouldn't be considered a valuable surrogate in reliably Republican states.
But the list of his 2014 campaign destinations lacks even the purple tinge of states where he's previously found success, like Colorado and Iowa.
On Wednesday, Obama had planned to travel to Connecticut to back incumbent Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy. However the White House announced the president would postpone the trip to hold meetings at the White House about the Ebola outbreak.
On Sunday he plans to visit Maryland – to stump for Democratic candidate Anthony Brown – and then head to the president’s home state of Illinois to campaign with embattled Gov. Pat Quinn.
Administration officials also tell NBC News that Obama will hold rallies for Wisconsin gubernatorial hopeful Mary Burke, Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, Maine challenger Mike Michaud and both candidates for governor and Senate in Michigan.
Those states all have something in common: they’re all friendly to Democratic presidents. The last time a Democratic presidential nominee lost Michigan, Maryland or Pennsylvania, it was the 1988 drubbing of Michael Dukakis.
They’re also all states that Obama won handily in both of his elections.
In 2012, he won Connecticut by 18 points; Maryland by 25.1; Illinois by 16.2; Wisconsin by 6.7; Pennsylvania by 5.2; Maine by 15.1 and Michigan by 9.5.
That’s an average of a 13.7 percent margin of victory for the president in the states he’ll definitely visit before November 4.
NBC’s Chris Jansing contributed to this report.