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Obama 'in political quarantine' as Democrats prepare for worst


U.S. President Barack Obama speaking in support of of Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

U.S. President Barack Obama speaking in support of of Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaking in support of of Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

As the rest of America's political class spent the last full day of the midterm elections frantically campaigning, President Barack Obama was cloistered in the White House discussing economic figures with his advisors.

It is a fittingly subdued end to a subdued campaign season for the President.

Two years after he convincingly won a second term in the White House, Mr Obama is so personally unpopular that Democrats have relegated him to the sidelines in this election in the hope his toxic poll numbers will not infect their candidates.

Once considered his party's most gifted campaigner, Mr Obama has made few appearances on the campaign trail this year and stayed in Washington through much of the election.

He has steered well clear of the roughly ten battleground states which will decide control of the US Senate, even those like Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire, which he won in 2012.

Democratic candidates there have steered well clear of him.

In New Hampshire, Senator Jeanne Shaheen's Republican opponent has called her "a rubber stamp" for the President and accused her of supporting the White House agenda 99pc of the time.

Mrs Shaheen has responded by distancing herself from Mr Obama, rarely mentioning his name and never featuring him in her campaign ads.

At a campaign event at the weekend she was asked whether Mr Obama's poor approval ratings were hurting her campaign.

"There are two people on the ballot on Tuesday, me and Scott Brown," she replied, referring to the Republican candidate in New Hampshire.

In the most extreme form of Obama denial, a Democrat senate candidate in Kentucky refused to say if she even voted for the President in the last election.

Mr Obama is clearly frustrated by Democrat attempts to run away from him. Two weeks ago, when asked why his party's candidates were keeping their distance, he replied: "These are all folks who vote with me, they have supported my agenda in Congress."

The sound bite was seized upon by Republicans, who are using it as evidence that a vote for any Democrat is a vote for Mr Obama.

Privately, Democrat campaign staff say the President's intervention was unhelpful.

While Mr Obama is in political quarantine, many of those he has beaten during his two successful presidential campaigns are out on the trail including Bill and Hillary Clinton.

(© Daily telegraph London)

Irish Independent