Obama hits campaign trail for NJ Gov Jon Corzine

President Barack Obama, doing his part to help keep a Democrat in charge of New Jersey, was heading there Wednesday to campaign for Gov. Jon Corzine.

Obama, who remains popular among New Jersey Democrats, was to speak at a rally at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s campus in Hackensack. It will be his second campaign appearance in the Garden State for Corzine.

Recent polls show Corzine tied with Republican Chris Christie, who had enjoyed double-digit leads.

It’s Obama’s second political trip of the week as the 2009 campaign season draws to a close with elections Nov. 3, part of a presidential blitz to help raise money and rally loyalists for the off-year elections.

Democrats face the prospect of losing hard-fought gubernatorial races in Virginia and perhaps New Jersey, two contests that, to a degree, are shaping up as a test of Obama’s political strength.

Obama took to the stump Monday night in New York City, helping raise as much as $3 million for the Democratic Party along with an unspecified sum for Bill Owens, the Democrat in a special congressional election in upstate New York. John McHugh, the Republican who had held the seat, stepped down to become Obama’s Army secretary.

On Friday, the president heads to New England to attend fundraisers for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is up for re-election in 2010, and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, also seeking another term next year.

Next Tuesday, Obama is scheduled to stump in Norfolk, Va., for Democrat Creigh Deeds, who is trailing in the race for Virginia governor.

Obama’s appearance Wednesday in support of Corzine follows campaign visits to New Jersey this week by Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.

Obama last stumped for Corzine in July at a rally in Holmdel, N.J.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.