ABC News's Sunlen Miller reports:
While Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons has a comfortable lead over Republican candidate Christine O’Donnell President Obama campaigning today in Delaware had a message to Democrats: don’t take this race for granted.
“I think Chris has so far run an extraordinary race, I don't want anybody here taking this for granted,” the president said from Wilmington today, “This is a tough political environment right now. This is a difficult election because we've been through an incredibly difficult time as a nation.”
Polls show Coons with at least a 17% lead on O’Donnell. The president never once mentioned Christine O’Donnell by name, arguing more broadly for the Democratic Party’s case versus the broader Republican Party’s, casting his party as working against the status quo.
“It was the conventional wisdom two years ago. Do you remember that? Everybody said, no you can't. And two years ago, you said yes we can. And you can say that same thing two weeks from now.”
The president said the Republican Party wants to make this election “simply a referendum on the current state of the economy,” but he said this election is really about a choice of the direction of the country. “I'm here to tell you, don't let anybody tell you that this fight is not worth it. Don't let them tell you that we're not making a difference."
Mr. Obama continued his attack on third party groups’ spending money in elections, without having to divulge their identity.
“They don't have the courage to stand up and disclose their identities. They could be insurance companies or Wall Street banks or even foreign-owned corporations. We will not know because there's no disclosure.” Obama said. “But this isn't just a threat to the Democrats: It's a threat to our democracy.”
Vice President Biden and President Obama each spoke at the event today in the race for Biden’s old Senate seat, leading to some questions at yesterdays White House briefing as to why the White House is putting so many resources in this race, given that it is not nearly as close as other competitive races.
“I think it's a very important race,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “we understand that every vote and every race is important, and obviously this one's, sort of, near and dear to the vice president. And -- and they're both happy to -- to go do that.”
Gibbs said they “hope and expect” to win the race.