Obama to make his first 2014 campaign rally appearance

With just weeks before voters head to the polls, President Barack Obama will make his first campaign rally appearance next Wednesday, stumping for Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy.

Obama will appear at a Bridgeport event for Malloy’s re-election campaign, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Thursday, as Obama flew to California for a three-day fundraising swing.

The event will mark the first time Obama has appeared at a campaign event for a candidate, although he’s raised millions for candidates and the Democratic party at fundraisers. A number of vulnerable Democrats -- particularly those in southern states -- are keeping the increasingly unpopular president at a distance, though Obama won Connecticut handily in 2012, topping former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 17 points.

A recent poll suggests the race is a dead heat. The Quinnipiac University poll of likely Connecticut voters found a lead once enjoyed by Malloy’s Republican challenger, Greenwich businessman Tom Foley, has largely evaporated.