After hiatus, Obama returns to campaign mode in N.Y.

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After winning re-election last year, Obama vowed to go all-in for Democrats by holding at least 20 fundraisers ahead of the midterm elections. Although Obama had planned to spread events out over many months this fall, Democratic officials say he was forced to put politicking on hold — first by the crisis over Syria’s chemical weapons, then by the shutdown-and-debt debacle.

By and large, Democrats have been more successful than Republicans in leveraging the fiscal showdown to raise money, according to fundraising reports released by campaign committees for House and Senate. But Republicans say that’s where Obama’s usefulness to his party ends. After all, the nation’s new health insurance program remains a tough sell even with independent voters, and Obama is personally unpopular in many of the southern, conservative-leaning states holding critical Senate elections next year.

“There’s still not one Democrat candidate in a toss-up race who wants him visiting their district, because they know he’s not wanted anywhere other than New York, San Francisco or Chicago,” said Daniel Scarpinato, a National Republican Congressional Committee official.

AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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