(CNN) – The Wisconsin recall election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker has garnered national political attention, but the chairman of the Democratic Governor Association said Tuesday that if President Barack Obama had visited the state, he would have brought the race to yet another level of national scrutiny.
The President did not visit Wisconsin to campaign on behalf of his fellow Democrat, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, in the recall election held Tuesday. DGA chairman Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley O'Malley made the remarks in an interview for CNN's "John King, USA."
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"I think that the appearance of the president has the potential to nationalize a race that quite frankly should be about whether the people of Wisconsin are creating jobs and expanding opportunity again," O'Malley told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
The race has attracted high-profile surrogates from both sides of the aisle, including former President Bill Clinton, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
But Republicans have pointed to Obama's absence as a sign of weakness for the Democrats. Democrats have said that the president has been otherwise occupied, but does support Walker's challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. On Monday evening, Obama tweeted, "I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor."
The contest is seen by many political analysts as a dry run for the November presidential election, when the race is either a toss up or leaning towards Obama's favor.