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Obama Makes Final Campaign Push

President Obama speaks at a rally Sept. 28, 2010, on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis. CBS

President Obama filled out his Illinois absentee ballot today from the West Wing of the White House, presumably casting a vote for Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in the race for Mr. Obama's old Senate seat.

The vote represents a modest bit of help for Giannoulias, who in recent polls is just two points behind Republican Mark Kirk. More importantly for the candidate, Mr. Obama will return to Illinois this weekend to make one final push for Democrats.

The president is playing a role in a number of other races in the days leading up to Nov. 2. Along with Illinois, the president is traveling to Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Ohio over the weekend -- all states where tight races are being fought.

On Friday, Mr. Obama will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia to campaign with vulnerable freshman Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello. The Democrat released a new ad today slamming his Republican opponent Robert Hurt for being insufficiently conservative. The ad attempts to steer conservative votes away from Hurt and in the direction of a more conservative third party candidate, Jeff Clark. Polls show Hurt leading in the conservative district.

While Mr. Obama has declined to endorse any candidates in the Rhode Island gubernatorial race -- raising the ire of the Democratic candidate -- the president does make an appearance in a new ad from Republican-turned-Independent candidate Lincoln Chafee. An early supporter of Mr. Obama's, the ad features the president praising Chafee at a 2008 event, and it also features positive remarks from independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The president is also the central focus in a new ad out of West Virginia -- not in a positive way, however. Republican Senate candidate John Raese explains in the ad that he would firmly stand in opposition to the president's policies. A whole crowd of West Virginians shouts at the end of the ad, "John Raese will never be a rubber stamp for Barack Obama!"

A new Fox News poll shows Raese with a slight lead over Democrat Joe Manchin, who has struggled to distance himself from Mr. Obama. However, a new Public Policy Polling survey shows Manchin with a 6-point lead. Special Report: Campaign 2010

Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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