Obama makes a quick campaign trip to rescue Corzine in N.J.

New Jersey and Virginia are having gubernatorial elections next month. In both states, the Democrat is trailing, and this could reflect poorly on Obama.

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After a meeting with his cabinet to test government responses for dealing with a catastrophic earthquake, President Obama heads to New Jersey to try to head off a political disaster for his party.

The President is making a five hour trip to the Garden State to appear at a rally at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s campus in Hackensack on behalf of incumbent Governor Jon Corzine. Recent polls show that Corzine has pulled virtually even with his Republican challenger, former US Attorney Chris Christie. According to Real Clear Politics’ average of major poll data, Christie is favored by 39.7 percent of the voters to Corzine’s 39.3 percent.

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The New Jersey race is one of two this November which political observers will be watching for a sense of how voters feel about Obama’s first 10 months in office. The races will also offer a window into the ability of Obama's grass roots political machine to turn out voters in an off year election.

The other gubernatorial race that will be decided this November is in Virginia where Democrat Creigh Deeds is trailing badly against Republican Bob McDonnell. Real Clear Politics’ average of major polls has voters preferring McDonnell 50.7 percent to 39.8 percent for Deeds. Despite those unpromising numbers, the president will travel to Norfolk next Tuesday to stump for Deeds.

Ducking the question

When asked what was at stake for the president in New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections during a Wednesday morning meeting with reporters in his office, press secretary Robert Gibbs quipped, “ask me the day after.”

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Bill Clinton and Joe Biden are stumping for Corzine too. More here.

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