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Bush Fundraising For Ohio Republican Chabot

President Bush will attend a fundraiser for Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) on Oct. 29.

The fundraiser will be held at the home of Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Chabot, who's facing a serious challenge from state House Minority Whip Steve Driehaus (D), has been a frequent target of House Democrats. Last year, he only defeated Democratic Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley with 53 percent of the vote.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Julie Shutley said that the fundraiser will help Chabot’s standing among GOP stalwarts in Ohio.

“This is just a way for Congressman Chabot to start generating support from the base as he heads into election year,” Shutley said.

Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern used the fundraising visit to remind voters that both Chabot and Bush oppose Democratic legislation that would expand federally funded health care for uninsured children.

“Apparently, loyalty to Bush beats loyalty to children and Chabot is getting his payoff for dutifully playing Bush's puppet," Redfern said.

Chabot’s Cincinnati-based district is highly competitive: Bush won 51 percent of the vote there in both 2000 and 2004. In his previous victories, he has peeled enough independent and Democratic support to win re-election.

According to a CBS News poll conducted last week, Bush’s national approval rating remains high among Republicans, even as his popularity lags with independents and Democrats. Sixty-six percent of Republicans said they approve of the president’s performance, while only 19 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats approve.

Chabot has over $534,000 cash-on-hand after raising about $157,000 in the third quarter. Driehaus raised about $126,000 over the last three months, and has over $250,000 cash on hand.

- Avi Zenilman