Barack Obama to visit Metro Detroit 11 days before Nov. 8 election

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Former US president Barack Obama speaks during day 9 of COP26 on November 08, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Day Nine of the 2021 climate summit in Glasgow will focus on delivering the practical solutions needed to adapt to climate impacts and address loss and damage. This is the 26th "Conference of the Parties" and represents a gathering of all the countries signed on to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement. The aim of this year's conference is to commit countries to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images) (Ian Forsyth, 2021 Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama will visit Michigan this month to campaign for Michigan Democrats as part of his first nationwide tour for prominent Democrats in key races.

Obama will visit Metro Detroit on October 29, 11 days before the election. The former president will be campaigning for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and “Michigan Democrats up and down the ballot,” according to a release from the Whitmer campaign.

(AP Photo/David Eggert) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“The event will focus on the stakes of the race as access to abortion, voting rights and public education are at risk in Michigan,” the release said.

For more information -- Michigan Voter Guide 2022: Get to know key races, ballot proposals before voting

Requests for appearances by former President Obama have been flooding in, according to recent reporting from CNN. Obama is planning a limited and targeted approach to where he lends his influence this election cycle telling aides his presence could enflame GOP voters just as much as Democratic ones. He also said he doesn’t want to overshadow rising stars within the party.

Obama remains an inspiring figure for many Democrats as questions about President Biden’s age and ability to do the job have taken a front-row seat for many voters, including questions about whether Biden should remain the party’s leader and run again in 2024

More -- Michigan begins mailing absentee ballots for Nov. 8 election: What to know

The former president’s visit also comes as new polling shows races across the state narrowing as the election draws nearer, including Whitmer’s lead over challenger Tudor Dixon shrinking from 17 to 11 points, and that shows President Joe Biden’s favorability rating sits at 34%. By comparison, former President Donald Trump’s favorability is roughly 35%.

“I think this is a really shrewd political move,” said pollster and political analyst with the Glengariff Group Richard Czuba. “What it’s saying is that the Democrats are not going to make the same mistakes they made in Michigan in 2016 when they took for granted turnout of the particularly the African American vote.”

Czuba also said Obama’s concerns of whipping up the GOP base may be overblown with the base of both parties preparing for high voter turnout.

“If you look at the numbers in Michigan, the GOP base is already fired up as is Whitmer’s Democratic base. They’re both fired up. Again, [Obama’s visit] is simply to make sure they don’t leave any votes behind.”

“With access to abortion, voting rights, and public education on the line, the stakes in this election could not be higher. Governor Whitmer is thrilled to welcome President Obama to Detroit to rally Michiganders and make sure everyone’s voice is heard in November,” said Whitmer campaign’s spokesman Joseph Costello.

Below is a statement from the Michigan Republican Party.

Obama will also reportedly be in Atlanta, GA on Oct 28 and Milwaukee, WI on Oct 29, the same day as his visit to Detroit. Details about the specific time and location of the Metro Detroit stop have not yet been released.

Also -- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Tudor Dixon square off in first debate

About the Authors:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.