THE RACE: Obama follows Wisconsin vote from afar

AP News
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Posted: Jun 05, 2012 3:33 PM
THE RACE: Obama follows Wisconsin vote from afar

Sometimes in presidential politics you have to know where not to go.

Such as Wisconsin.

Even though the state's gubernatorial recall election Tuesday could bear on presidential dynamics, neither President Barack Obama nor Republican rival Mitt Romney has visited there lately.

There's little upside and a big downside for such a visit on such a state-specific issue, especially for Obama.

That doesn't mean he hasn't wished Democratic challenger Tom Barrett well. Via Twitter. The president tweeted Monday night: "It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor. -bo."

GOP chief Reince Priebus tweeted back: "A bold tweet from the President who wouldn't actually campaign with him or step foot in Wisconsin."

Republicans hope a win by Republican Gov. Scott Walker will pave the way for Romney to win Wisconsin, making him the first GOP candidate to do so since Ronald Reagan in 1984. It would also be a huge defeat for organized labor, which poured tens of millions of dollars into the recall effort, and a victory for conservative groups.

If Barrett wins, Democrats and labor activists will claim a big win and grass-roots momentum for Obama.

Last month, Obama gave North Carolina a wide berth right before it voted to ban gay marriage. But the day after, he announced his support for such unions.

In addition to Wisconsin's recall vote, five states held primaries Tuesday, including California and New Jersey. Obama and Romney have already amassed enough delegates to win their party nominations.

Obama had private meetings Tuesday, after evening fundraisers the night before in New York with former President Bill Clinton, who did campaign for Barrett in Wisconsin. Romney was in Fort Worth, Texas, to talk about what his campaign called "Obama's hostility to job creators."

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Follow Tom Raum on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tomraum. For more AP political coverage, look for the 2012 Presidential Race in AP Mobile's Big Stories section. Also follow https://twitter.com/APCampaign and AP journalists covering the campaign: https://twitter.com/AP/ap-campaign-2012