President Obama's charm offensive didn't work in New Jersey or Virginia, where Republicans won crucial gubernatorial races in November. Will it work in Massachusetts?
That remains to be seen, as Obama puts his prestige on the line again when he goes to the Bay State on Sunday to stump for Democratic nominee Martha Coakley, who is in a dead heat with Republican candidate Scott Brown for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.
"It's white-knuckle time," Democratic operative Phil Johnston told the Boston Herald. "This is an election we have to win. It's key to everything the Obama administration wants to do. The stakes are high."
In fact, the stakes are even higher for the president than they were in last year's gubernatorial races, as he seeks to avoid losing a critical 60th vote in the Senate for his signature health care overhaul that is nearing the finish line in Congress.
If Brown wins Tuesday, Republicans pick up their 41st vote, which would be enough to sustain a filibuster and possibly kill the reform bill.
The most recent poll has Brown leading by 4 percentage points, and the Republican state senator reportedly is raising money at a rate of $1 million a day. Meanwhile, Coakley's campaign is under fire for the way she's run her campaign, going from front-runner to barely competitive after taking it easy following her primary victory in December.