BY Kenneth R. Bazinet
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
"We can't let this country fall backwards because the rest of us didn't care to fight," Obama said in a new radio ad released Tuesday ahead of his four-day, five-state campaign swing.
Two weeks before the Nov. 2 election, Republicans are widely expected to recapture control of the House, in large part because of an Obama backlash.
The embattled President has had difficulty grasping the disappointment among his left-leaning voter base, aides told the Daily News.
But he knows fingers will point at him if Democrats tank - so he's making a fight of it.
"He's going to get blamed no matter, so it makes sense to get out there and try to energize the base," said a Democratic political operative with White House ties.
Given his dismal job approval ratings and longstanding unpopularity, Obama is a double-edged sword for his party this fall.
Many Democrats in conservative states and districts don't want him anywhere near them the final two weeks of the midterm campaign.
"He could rally African-American voters and save a few House seats, but he's unlikely to save the Democrats' majority," said pollster Bill Schneider, senior fellow at the centrist group Third Way. "Obama nationalizes the campaign, which doesn't help - except with African-American voters."
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said Obama is the best the party has to offer. "There is no greater voice in our party than the President's," Kaine said.
The DNC is buttressing Obama's effort by pumping $50 million into key states and House races.
Obama leaves today on a trek through states where friendly Dems hope he can help save their seats.
Obama hopes to reinforce the party's "Western fire wall" with his hop through Washington, California and Nevada to campaign for Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, who faces the toughest contest against Tea Partyer Sharron Angle.
The stakes are high for Obama: If his party holds those three states on Nov. 2, it will be nearly impossible for Republicans to take control of the Senate, Obama aides and political prognosticators have concluded.
Obama opens his tour in Portland, Ore., ending Saturday in Minneapolis to raise cash and campaign for Minnesota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton.