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Obama to travel to California to raise money for Boxer. Again. [Updated]

April 20, 2010 |  2:36 pm

In a sign of how concerned top Democrats are about Sen. Barbara Boxer’s reelection chances this year, her campaign announced Tuesday that President Obama would again travel to California in May to hold a fundraiser for the three-term senator and the Democratic National Committee.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Obama headlined three Los Angeles fundraisers for Boxer and the DNC that raised nearly $3.5 million.

On Monday evening, Obama urged Democrats to show the same enthusiasm for Boxer’s reelection as they did for his 2008 presidential campaign, and said Boxer’s reelection was vital to his agenda, including financial regulatory reform, immigration reform and improving the economy.

“You are going to need somebody who's as passionate, as caring, as committed and as tough as the senator you’ve got right here, right now,” Obama said at a VIP reception at the California Science Center. “So I don't want any of you taking this for granted. … This is where the rubber hits the road, and unless Barbara gets the help that she needs from all of you and that means digging deep, reaching out to your friends and your neighbors and carrying that message forward. Unless she’s got that support, she might not win this thing.”

The Monday night fundraisers, which were capped by an elegant $35,200 per couple dinner at the Natural History Museum, were the latest in a rapidly accelerating fundraising schedule for the president. He has been traveling across the nation to help vulnerable Democrats such as Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Republicans denounced the president for meeting with wealthy supporters but failing to spend time with voters.

[Updated at 2:50 p.m.: Amber Marchand, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the move won't help the embattled senator's reelection bid. “Obviously Senator Boxer has read the writing on the wall that she’s in trouble this November, but flying around on Air Force One touting her big-government, tax-and-spend Washington agenda with President Obama won’t help the families and job creators who are suffering from 12.6% unemployment in her state," she said.]

California has sent two Democrats to the Senate for the last 18 years, but polls show Boxer is facing a tough reelection battle this year. Her vulnerability is a reflection of voters' concerns about the economy and their backlash against incumbents and the party that controls the White House and Congress. Three Republican candidates are vying for the party nomination – former Rep. Tom Campbell, former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina and Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.

The fundraiser will be in San Francisco in May. Additional details were not available.

-- Seema Mehta

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