Forrmer President Barack Obama makes his campaign trail ’22 debut Friday night in Atlanta, in an effort to bolster the campaigns of Democrats Stacey Abrams and Raphael Warnock. 

Obama will arrive in the Peach State on the heels of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer alerting President Joe Biden that the Democrats were in trouble in Georgia, a state Biden narrowly won over former President Donald Trump in the 2020 race. 

‘The state where we’re going downhill his Georgia. It’s hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker,’ Schumer told Biden on a Syracuse tarmac Thursday.   

Georgia’s Senate race pits former University of Georgia and NFL great Walker, the Trump-backed Republican, against Warnock, the Democrat and senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, who won his seat in a special election and then a run-off in January 2021. 

Former President Barack Obama makes his campaign trail '22 debut Friday evening in Atlanta, Georgia. Here he's photographed at a drive-in rally stumping for then candidate Joe Biden in October 2020

Former President Barack Obama makes his campaign trail ’22 debut Friday evening in Atlanta, Georgia. Here he’s photographed at a drive-in rally stumping for then candidate Joe Biden in October 2020 

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams

Obama will bolster the campaigns of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock (left) and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams (right) in Atlanta. Warnock is in a tight race against Republican football star Herschel Walker, while Abrams is trying to oust GOP Gov. Brian Kemp

Warnock is now running for a full six-year term. 

FiveThirtyEight.com considers it a true toss-up, giving Walker a 52 percent chance of winning, versus 48 percent for Warnock. 

Walker’s run has been plagued with allegations that he asked previous girlfriends to obtain abortions, despite saying he’s pro-life, but his dramatic personal life hasn’t significantly dragged him down in the polls. 

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Abrams is engaged in a rematch of 2018 against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. 

Recent polls show the prominent Democratic voting rights advocate down significantly, with the Real Clear Politics polling average putting Kemp 7.4 points ahead. 

Kemp has maintained GOP support despite crossing Trump over Georgia’s 2020 election result – and has attracted independents, with Rasmussen giving him a 17-point edge over Abrams among unaffiliated voters, according to a poll released Thursday. 

After Atlanta, Obama is due to campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin on Saturday and will travel to Nevada and Pennsylvania next week.  

The ex-president will campaign alongside Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is being challenged by Republican Tudor Dixon. 

And then he’ll try to help Wisconsin Democratic Senate hopeful Mandela Barnes, who lost his lead in his race against Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson. 

Schumer told Biden he thought things were looking up in Nevada, but Obama will travel there to shore up the campaigns of incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, running against Republican Adam Laxalt, and Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who’s being challenged by Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. 

In Pennylvania, Obama is expected to reunite with Biden, who served as his vice president, to help out Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, running for the state’s open Senate seat and coming off of a tough debate performance.

Obama will also stump for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Josh Shapiro, who polls show have a healthy lead over Republican Doug Mastriano. 

In 2020, Biden deployed Obama to Florida – a state he lost to Trump – and Pennsylvania, which he flipped back from 2016. 

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Obama used the chance to go after Trump gleefully

This time around, there’s no obvious bogeyman – as Obama will be tasked to boast about Democratic accomplishments in the face of rising inflation and crime, two issues Republicans have used to their advantage. 

‘President Obama is always a common thread that ties together the Democratic coalition: college educated voters, women, suburban voters and African-American. In an environment where turnout and enthusiasm is a priority, surrogates like President Obama are invaluable on the trail,’ explained Democratic strategist Joel Payne, a senior aide for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.  

And Obama knows how difficult midterms can be for the party that’s holding the White House, as he referred to his own 2010 blowout as a ‘shellacking.’ 

That year Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats – with Republicans successfully flipping control of the House of Representatives. 

The Democrats later lost control of the Senate in the 2014 midterms during Obama’s second term. 

The Democrats regained control of the House in 2018, in a midterm rebuke of Trump, and got control of the Senate after Warnock and fellow Georgia Democrat, Sen. Jon Ossoff, won their run-off races on January 5, 2021. 


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