Politics & Government

Obama heads to Seattle for campaigning, fundraising

Today's Election Day visit from President Barack Obama will be a good reminder to procrastinating Washington state voters to mail in their ballots or stop by the polls.

Mainly, though, Obama is in Seattle to headline a pair of fundraisers expected to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray's already sizable campaign war chest.

The presidential appearance underlines the national implications of today's results.

Republicans in Washington, D.C., hope voters will send Dino Rossi to the Nov. 2 ballot and help their chances of eroding — or even ending — Democrats' majority in the Senate, which they have wielded to overhaul health care and financial industry rules, confirm two Supreme Court justices and pass a $787 billion economic stimulus.

The stimulus and Democrats' other efforts to kick-start the job market will be Obama and Murray's emphasis this morning as they meet with three Washington state business owners who have success stories.

The visit is unlikely to have much effect on today's "top-two" primary, which determines the pair of candidates that will advance to the November ballot. Ballots must be postmarked by today or returned to a county's election office or its drop box by 8 p.m.

Secretary of State Sam Reed predicts a 38 percent voter turnout for the election.

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