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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Barack Obama is headed to Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin in the closing days of the 2022 campaign to give a boost to Democrats running for governor, senator and on down the ballot.
He goes first to Atlanta, where Stacey Abrams is taking on Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Nov. 8. She lost a close race to him in 2018.
As in 2020, Georgia also may once again decide which party controls the Senate. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is facing a challenge from Republican Herschel Walker, a football star making his first bid for public office.
After campaigning in Atlanta on Oct. 28, Obama plans stops the following day in Detroit and Milwaukee for events to help get out the vote.
In Michigan, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is running against Tudor Dixon, a onetime commentator for a conservative online program who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Michigan voters also are deciding whether to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.
In Wisconsin, Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and become the state’s first Black senator.
Barnes, who is from Milwaukee, the state’s largest city and home to the largest group of African American voters, has been trying to energize Black voters in a race that a Marquette University Law School poll this past week showed Johnson with an apparent lead.
Obama also hopes to give a boost to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is being challenged by Tim Michels, a construction company co-owner who is endorsed by Trump. Marquette polls for months have shown that race to be about even.