October 11th, 2010
11:43 AM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton: The man in demand for Democrats

(CNN) - Call Bill Clinton the Democrat's go to guy this election year, and this week he's going to make a lot of stops on the campaign trail.

The former president starts Monday in Kentucky, where he teams up with Jack Conway, the state's attorney general and the Democratic Senate nominee. The former president headlines a Conway rally in Lexington on the campus of the University of Kentucky and separately help Conway raise campaign cash at a fundraiser. Conway is battling Republican nominee Rand Paul to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning.

Next Clinton heads to West Virginia, where he's the main attraction at a rally in Morgantown, West Virginia for Gov. Joe Manchin. The popular two-term Democrat is the party's Senate nominee in a special election this November to fill the final two years of the term of Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this year. Byrd was first elected to the Senate in 1958. Manchin faces off against Republican nominee and businessman John Raese.

Later Monday Clinton flies to Syracuse, New York, where he headlines a rally for Rep. Dan Maffei, who represents the state's 25th congressional district. The freshman Democratic congressman faces a challenging re-election this year.

What do all three stops have in common?

They are all areas where moderate to conservative voters predominate, and where arguably the former president may be more popular that President Barack Obama.

"It's no secret that President Obama isn't particularly popular in some parts of the country. Democrats are thankful they've got a former president who is still popular with the base and can hit the campaign trail in places where Obama can't go," says Nathan Gonzales, political editor at the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. "Blue-collar Democratic voters have never been Obama's base, so Democrats are relying on President Clinton to rally those voters and help Democratic incumbents up and down the ballot."

Take West Virginia. Soon after the Manchin last week announced Clinton's Monday visit, the Raese campaign responded, putting out a release accusing the governor for being a flip-flopper, pointing to comments Manchin made earlier on MSNBC. When asked in an interview whether he would want President Barack Obama to come and campaign for him, Manchin said "I've never had people come and campaign for me. I've always done my own campaigns."

"The Governor considers President Clinton to be a long-time friend, not a current elected official, and it's a shame that John Raese doesn't understand the difference," responded Manchin campaign spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg.

Monday's just the start of a busy week that will take Clinton across the country. The former president campaigns for Democrats in Arkansas, Nevada, New Mexico and California the rest of the week. Next week he'll be stumping in Washington State, Colorado, and Florida.

Polls indicate that Clinton is very popular with Americans. His favorable rating stood at 65 percent in an AP-GfK survey conducted in August and at 61 percent in a Gallup poll conducted in July.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Dan Maffei • Jack Conway • Joe Manchin • Kentucky • New York • West Virginia
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    "Boy these Dems are in truoble huh? I mean they got the President flying all over on our dime, I mean dollars to save his sorry congress. Now Bill Clinton is getting in on the action. lol Scared are yeah? lol
    We are kicking your butts out of office! The Congress is a joke and that is where ol Berry came from with his PRESENT voting record! get a grip people! do you really want them to spend our money on stupid studies and crap! NO? THEN VOTE THEM OUT!"
    October 11, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |

    Judging from your atrocious spelling and grammar, you must be one of those "real Americans" who are fixin' to "take their country back." Good luck with that. Have a nice day!

    October 11, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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