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Election 2010

President Obama Campaigns In Bluest States

Then-Sen. Barack Obama at  a 2006 rally in Prince George's County, Md. for then-Maryland gubernatorial candidate Martin O'Malley. Chris Gardner/AP Photo hide caption

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Chris Gardner/AP Photo

One of best things about Washington D.C. for President Obama is that it's next to a state where he still rides very high in popularity.

So that helps to explain why he'll be attending a big rally for Gov. Martin O'Malley in Prince George's, County, Md., with its large population of middle-class blacks.

Obama will stop there on his way to the airport to travel to another pocket of high popularity for him, Illinois, where he will campaign for Alex Giannoulias who is running for the Senate seat Obama once occupied.

In Maryland, Obama will be in a decidedly blue piece of a very blue state, historically black Bowie State University.

It's not that O'Malley really needs Obama's help. The Democratic governor holds an 11-percentage point lead over his Republican challenger, former Gov. Robert Erhlich.

For the White House political operation to send the president to Maryland right now is arguably like sending oil to Saudi Arabia.

But it ensures that the president gets to be in front of a sympathetic crowd that will shower him with affection. It will also make for visuals of an excited predominantly black audience that might help recreate some of the energy from 2008.

The Washington Post points out that Democratic officials are very concerned about the turnout of black voters. So the presidential visit is meant to address some of those concerns.

And it allows him to efficiently squeeze in a rally on the way to the airport.