President Obama is stepping up his support for local Democratic candidates this month. Last week, he headlined two fundraisers for Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, and now he is throwing his weight behind Governor Pat Quinn.
In a new radio ad and robo-call, Obama calls Quinn his "friend" and goes on to applaud the governor for his accomplishments in the state.
"I know Pat Quinn," Obama says. "Over the years, I've seen firsthand his courage to take on powerful interests, his character to do what's right, and his commonsense that's getting our state moving again. He's fighting to create jobs, strengthen our schools, and protect our neighborhoods."
After months of trailing by double digits in the polls, Quinn has come out swinging in recent weeks. One poll gave Quinn a one-point advantage over Republican Bill Brady, and another showed the governor with a six point lead.
The boost comes after some of Brady's more conservative views came to light. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times last week, Brady said he supported schools teaching creationism to students if they want to. He has also been slammed by women's groups for opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
Obama isn't the only Washington heavy-hitter showing support for Quinn. Vice President Joe Biden will join Quinn for a fundraiser and labor rally Tuesday, and First Lady Michelle Obama comes to town Wednesday hoping to get Democratic voters to the polls.
Obama's radio ad for Quinn will be getting heavy rotation on stations targeting African American voters, the Capitol Fax blog reports.
"On Election Day, I've voting for my friend, Pat Quinn, and I hope you'll join me," Obama says in the ad. "We can't afford to stay home - because the best thing you can do for me in the White House is to vote to keep Pat Quinn Governor. Thank you."