Obama and Clinton in desperate bid to bolster Democrats
President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton descend on Illinois in this final week of the US congressional campaign, hoping to prevent the embarrassing loss of Obama's old Senate seat to a Republican.
The party's two most high-profile campaigners will take a one-two punch into the traditionally Democrat-controlled state on behalf of Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer who is bidding for Obama's place in the Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn, who is trying to shed the taint of having served as lieutenant governor under former Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was removed from office on corruption charges.
Mr Clinton spoke at a downtown Chicago hotel yesterday, urging Democratic activists to vote on November 2.
With a week remaining before the national vote, the principal uncertainty concerned the size and scope of anticipated Democratic losses in the House, the Senate, governors' races and state legislatures.
Mr Obama and his Democrats are struggling against voter anger over the miserable economy that is likely to give Republicans control of the House of Representatives, considerably diminish their Senate majority and put many Republicans in state governors' mansions that had been home to Democrats.
First lady Michelle Obama was campaigning hard as well. In San Francisco on Monday night, she said the race for the congressional majority was "too close" and said Democratic voters must recapture the energy of 2008, when voters elected her husband as the first black American president.