PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – President Obama is set to make yet another visit to Philadelphia this weekend. This time he’ll be backed up by the Philly-bred band “The Roots.”
This is the President’s third visit to the region in the last month, which clearly demonstrates the importance the White House is placing on the Pennsylvania Senate race between Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey.
Most polls show Sestak trailing, perhaps by as many as nine percentage points. Many experts say Democrats here and across the country are suffering from an enthusiasm gap: Republican voters are energized to go to the polls to vote against President Obama’s policies while Democrats don’t seem to be rallying to the president’s defense.
A spokesman for Rep. Sestak says the congressman will be attending the president’s rally, which is slated for an open baseball field in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood.
“It’s going to be a lot of people out here, trust me,” said Mildred Copper, who lives directly across the street from the field.
No doubt that Germantown is a very friendly neighborhood for the President in a not-so-friendly election year. Despite having an unemployment rate of 11.7 percent, two points higher than the national average, a lot of Philadelphians seem to approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing in Washington.
“President Bush left him with a lot of stuff he has to contend with, and he has to work it out and things take time,” said Daniel King, who also lives near the rally location in Germantown. “I think this election is very important so Mr. Obama can keep his agenda and get things done.”
“We always wish there was more, but the president, any president, he can’t do it all,” said neighbor Abdul Pittman. “I would vote for the people that he’s backing because of the things he’s doing. He did make a change.”
“The president knows the power and the demonstrated ability to turn out in elections here in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael Nutter (D) when asked why he thinks the president is coming to town so often. “I think everyone knows that any number of races are going to tighten up toward the end. The President has a tremendous depth and wealth of support here in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia region.”
And perhaps if he can get Philadelphia voters to the polls, the senate race in Pennsylvania will be a lot more competitive.
Reported By: Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3