Obama to hit campaign trail in Ohio, California

Obama to hit campaign trail in Ohio, California
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Former President Obama will make his first campaign appearances of the 2018 midterm cycle in the coming weeks as he travels to Ohio and California to back Democratic candidates attempting to unseat Republican incumbents.

The New York Times reports that Obama will appear alongside seven Orange County, Calif., Democrats who are challenging Republicans in districts where Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Hickenlooper announces Senate bid MORE successfully topped President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE in the 2016 presidential election.

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The former president will also appear alongside Ohio gubernatorial nominee Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayWatchdog agency must pick a side: Consumers or scammers Kraninger's CFPB gives consumers the tools to help themselves House rebukes Mulvaney's efforts to rein in consumer bureau MORE, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as Cordray seeks the seat currently held by term-limited Gov. John Kasich (R).

A spokeswoman for Obama's office told the Times that Obama would be active “in local, down-ballot races to build the Democratic Party’s bench.”

"This moment in our country is too perilous for Democratic voters to sit out," Katie Hill added to the Times.

The spokeswoman added in an email to The Hill that Obama is scheduled to appear in Orange County on Saturday and added that the former president plans to campaign in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania ahead of the midterms.

Democrats need to pick up 23 House seats and two Senate seats to retake both chambers of Congress in November, while the party also faces a disadvantage in statehouses nationwide.

The Senate is a long shot for the party as they try to pick up the two seats while defending 10 in states that Trump won in 2016.

Some centrist Democrats, including Montana Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterNative American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Budget deal sparks scramble to prevent shutdown MORE (Mont.) and Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (N.D.), have said that they do not expect and have not asked for Obama's support.

“We’re not going to use any surrogates. Surrogates are fine but we don’t need them. The race is myself and Matt Rosendale and that’s the way we want to keep it,” Tester told The Hill this week, referring to his GOP challenger.

“He threatened to campaign against me once, so I don’t think he’s coming out there,” added Heitkamp.