In Nevada, a state with the nation’s highest unemployment rate and the highest rate of home foreclosures, Reid, a Democrat, is slightly trailing Republican Sharron Angle with just 11 days to go before the November 2 elections. A defeat for the Senate’s highest ranking Democrat would be a major blow for Obama, who worked closely with Reid and other congressional leaders to craft last year’s $814 billion economic stimulus package and reforms of the healthcare and financial regulatory systems.
On a five-state campaign blitz in the U.S. West, Obama flew on Thursday from Seattle to San Francisco to help campaign for candidates in California. They included incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer, who is facing tough challenge from Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Frustrations with the economy’s weakness that are hurting Democratic candidates across the country are even more pronounced in Nevada, which has a jobless rate of 14.4 percent and has been hit hard by the housing crisis. Still unclear is whether Obama will mention a fiasco involving faulty housing foreclosure documents issued by banks in his campaign speech in Las Vegas. He differs with Reid on the Nevada senator’s call for a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures. The Nevada Senate race is one of a handful that could determine whether Democrats hold onto their majority in the U.S. Senate. Many pollsters predict Republicans will garner enough seats to take control of the House of Representatives, making it all the more crucial to Democrats that they maintain their majority in the 100-member Senate.