Obama, Hollywood huddle to take back Senate, House
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President Obama will be the star attraction at two fundraisers in Los Angeles this week that are intended to raise money for Democrats hoping to win back the House and the Senate this fall.

Obama’s rush to California for House and Senate Democrats is fresh evidence of the optimism his party feels about its chances of taking back at least one of the two chambers.

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Democrats face a favorable battleground in the Senate, where Republicans are defending 24 seats, many of them in states won by Obama.

The House is a much tougher climb, but Democrats believe that if Republicans ride into November with Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws MORE or Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration MORE as their presidential nominee, substantial gains are possible.

“Now there can actually be talk of making significant gains in the House and reclaiming of the Senate,” said Los Angeles-based Democratic political strategist Donna Bojarsky. “This wasn’t the case six months ago, but now it’s clear that the down-ballot races are going to be influenced by the presidential election — and not for the good of the Republicans.”

Guest lists for the Hollywood-oriented events look like a who’s who of the industry’s deep-pocketed Democrats, who may also be feeling more bullish about November. 

Among the co-chairs and co-hosts for Thursday night’s event at the home of Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and his environmental activist wife Cindy are Democratic stalwarts Norman and Lyn Lear; Barbra Streisand and James Brolin; “Star Wars: A Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath; campaign maestro Andy Spahn and his wife Jennifer Perry; and Peg Yorkin.

Proceeds from the $15,000-per-couple dinner go to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and DCCC chair Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) also will attend.

The dinner includes a photo opportunity with Obama. A $33,400-per-couple donation gets attendees a listing as a co-host. Couples donating $66,800 will get admission to a special VIP reception with the president.

The following morning, Obama will attend a breakfast fundraiser — to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — at the home of actor Tobey Maguire and wife Jennifer Meyer Maguire. Tickets for that event are going for $33,400 per couple.

The president then will move on to San Francisco for a similar round of congressional fundraising.

Hollywood’s Democratic activists have been taking the measure of their party’s senatorial opportunities for some time. 

As The Hill previously reported, Spahn — long considered Hollywood’s top political fundraiser — has taken the role of entertainment industry point man in this effort, conducting a series of meetings with senatorial candidates at his offices in the Universal Studios compound.

Patrick Murphy, who is seeking the Florida seat vacated by Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio heckled by protestors outside immigration detention facility Bill to protect work licenses of student loan debtors is welcome development Political figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer MORE, has made a trip to Los Angeles recently for support — as have Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett, Michigan’s Gary Peters and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is looking to unseat incumbent Republican Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border Ernst, Fischer to square off for leadership post Facebook gives 500 pages of answers to lawmakers' data privacy questions MORE.