As the Nov. 4 midterm elections draw near, President Barack Obama made a rare campaign appearance in Maryland Sunday. The response from the crowd, some say, is proof of the president’s growing, or continuing, unpopularity.
What did the crowd do?
They got up and walked out.
Speaking at a rally for Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, who is running for governor, Obama implored the crowd to get out and vote on election day.
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“You’ve got to get your family to vote,” the president, who took the stage after Brown, said.
“You’ve got to get your friends to vote. You’ve got to get your coworkers to vote. You’ve got to get that cousin Pookie sitting at home on the couch — he’s watching football right now instead of being here at the rally — you’ve got to talk to him and let him know it is not that hard to exercise the franchise that previous generations fought so hard to obtain,” he continued.
Instead of applause or cheering, however, Obama was treated to a line trickling to the exit. One protester even allegedly heckled the president during his speech.
“A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke,” reports Reuters.
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A Wall Street Journal blog, which also reported on the lackluster crowd response, pointed out that the president’s low approval ratings are causing many Democrats to distance themselves from him while they campaign this season.
In the U.S. Senate, where the Democrats stand to lose their majority, that is particularly true. In Kentucky, the Democratic rival of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t even say publicly whether she voted for Obama in 2008 or 2012, according to the New York Daily News.
Gubernatorial races, however, are safer ground for the president, particularly in Maryland where Brown enjoys an 11 point lead in the polls.
Obama was also scheduled Sunday to stump in his hometown of Chicago for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn who is running for re-election.
Supporters there shrugged off talk of the president’s poor numbers.
“Some in my party feel” that the president is a political liability, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, said. “But nobody is more popular with the core Democratic base than the president in his hometown.”
Photo Source: Wikipedia / Associated Press