Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thin Crowd for Cleveland Campaign Rally

The thrill is gone.
CLEVELAND – President Obama wrapped up a weekend of last-minute campaigning here on Sunday, addressing Democrats in an indoor arena that, in a sign of the “enthusiasm gap” that the president is working so hard to close, was little more than half full.

About 8,000 people attended the Democratic National Committee’s “Moving America Forward’’ rally at Cleveland State University Wolstein Center, a hall that can seat 13,000. The rafters were largely empty.

Organizers noted the president was competing on a Sunday afternoon with church, football and Halloween. And Mr. Obama drew a huge crowd of about 35,000 when he was in nearby Columbus earlier this month. Still, the thin crowd was perhaps a foreboding sign in the waning days of the mid-term races, when Mr. Obama – who was joined Sunday by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. – considers getting Democrats to the polls his most important mission.

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