July 29th, 2009
10:22 AM ET
12 years ago

President takes health-care battle to battleground states

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/29/art.bobristol0729.gi.jpg caption="Then-Sen. Obama campaigned in Bristol, VA soon after securing the Democratic nomination in June of last year."]
(CNN) - President Barack Obama takes his battle for health-care reform to two battleground states Wednesday.

The president will hold a town hall at Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina and another later at a Kroger supermarket in Bristol, Virginia, along the Tennessee border.

When the president leaves the nation's capital for events across the country, the location matters. And North Carolina and Virginia matter.

Both states hold important elections over the next year and a half. In North Carolina, Republican Senator Richard Burr is up for re-election next year. In Virginia, Democrats are trying to hold on to the governor's office in this November's election.

Next week, Obama campaigns in Virginia with the Democrats' gubernatorial candidate, Creigh Deeds.

While 2012 may be a long way down the political road, presidential campaign politics may also be at play. Both states are considered swing or battleground states, which both parties think they have a chance of winning and will fight for in the next race for the White House. Obama won both states last year, the first Democrat to win a presidential election in North Carolina since 1976 and Virginia since 1964.

This is Obama's second trip to both states since taking over in the White House in January. It may just be coincidence, but many of the states Obama has visited since his January 20 inauguration - Virginia, Indiana, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, and Nevada - are all potential battlegrounds in the next presidential contest.

"The White House doesn't make decisions on presidential visits by chance," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor in chief of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.
Obama is no stranger to Bristol, Virginia. On June 5, 2008, at the end of the Democratic primaries, he kicked off his general election campaign in the southwestern Virginia city. And he last campaigned in Raleigh in late October, just days before the presidential election.

"Has the next presidential campaign started? No, the last campaign never really ended," adds CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

Updated 7/30/09, 11:39 a.m.

Filed under: Health care • North Carolina • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    Ted Kennedy would be dead by now under the Obama Health care plan. Take him on the road as an example of why this plan should be tossed out!

    July 29, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Larry

    In this World there could be only, either of the 2 options:

    1. Jump into the Ocean or Not to Jump.
    2. Bang your head against the Wall or Not to Bang.
    3. Take off your pants and ask another to kick your butt or Not ask another to kick.
    4. To be a member of GOP or Not be a member.

    There are always 2 options, to do or not to do. There can be no third option. 😐

    July 29, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. stormerF

    All of you who are against Health insurance companies,why don't you just drop your insurance and go on medicare or medicaid and ,see how you really like Governemnt run health care...How can Obama says it will not increase the deficit when he has not read it? Another Judgement in the blind like the Stimulis package,then fretted anger,at not knowing what is in it?...There is no provision to reduce the tests run by Doctors,due to fear of frivolous lawsuits being filed,no provision to keep illegals from getting free health care,no checks. Tort reform is needed first to curb the Mal practice insurance costs,and stop the frivolous law suits.

    July 29, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Pat Durham

    NO NO NO to additional Government Socialist Healthcare. It has been proven to NOT work....Move on to terrorisim!

    July 29, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Tom Paine

    What a joke. This isn't a campaign – it's about governing. Obama should try that for once.

    July 29, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Al Smith

    There are 319 million people in the United States.

    40 million of them do not have health insurance.

    22 million of them are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO DO NOT PAY TAXES.

    So now we have 18 million out of 319 million who do not insurance.

    or 6% of American citizens that do not have health insurance.

    Unemplyment rate is higher than that...so maybe we should be pushing for something other than health care.

    July 29, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Angie in Pa

    Blue Dog democrats LIVE IN REPUBLICAN DISTRICTS! Most of them are from the South for those of you who want President Obamas Healthcare reform done then I say come together start calling your Representives and tell them to work for you not the Insurance lobbysit!

    July 29, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Neutralizer

    Obama LIED infront of AARP MEMBERS! YES! in that bill there is COUNSELING to END of LIFE and only government approve doctor will deliver order for such end of life and YES cancer treatment is targetted.

    July 29, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Angie in Pa

    The Reason the Blue Dogs are against this is not because it stinks because THEY ARE IN BED WITH THE INSURANCE COMPAINES JUST LIKE THE REPUBLICANS THEY DONT WORK FOR US THEY WORK FOR THEM President Obama dont give up im proud of you taking this to the people!

    July 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Peace

    Sell it anywhere you think it will be sold Mr. President. Even on e-bay like the bridge to nowhere!!!!!

    July 29, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Lori in St Pete

    How much of what "the American public finds out about what is actually in the legislation in the House" is actually true. Betsy McCaughey, the former Lt. Governor of New York lied so much about the bill that it's a miracle her pants didn't catch fire, claiming among other things that senior citizens would be advised on how to die sooner. She should be held out for public ridicule, and the "librul" media (as if there is such a thing, considering 98% of the media is owned by huge corporate conglomerates) should look into who paid that miserable excuse for a human being to make up such ridiculous lies.

    July 29, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. bozo the obama

    I want free health insurance like Congress and illegal aliens have. Simple logic.

    July 29, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. J.P.

    "What's that?! I'm plummeting in the polls!? Quick, get to the campaign trail!"

    There has to be some way to blame Obama's plummeting approval numbers on Bush! There just HAS to be!

    July 29, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Jimmy the Greek

    Obama is nothing more than a glorified community organizer. He's not interested in BI-PARTISAN legislation.... he only wants to feed his OWN ego with his OWN plan.

    Pride proceeds the fall.

    July 29, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Lori in St Pete

    I don't remember where I read it, but someone made a very good point: What are you really more in danger of being killed by, a terrorist or a medical condition such as cancer, stroke or heart attack? With the $$$ being tossed at these open ended wars over the last 7+ years, everyone in America could be treated to the gold-plated medical coverage currently reserved for top executives and congresspersons.

    July 29, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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