Obama using popularity to help down-ballot Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Barack Obama is using his popularity to help give down-ballot Democrats a boost.

Obama's campaign is working with Democratic officials charged with building majorities in the House and Senate to pick which races they should target. Obama is planning radio ads to help those candidates during the campaign's final days.

Obama has a particular interest in helping Senate candidates. While it's a longshot, it is possible that Democrats could reach 60 seats, which would be enough to prevent Republicans from blocking Democratic legislation.

Some Democrats have suggested that Obama should start using some of the record-high contributions he's received to help other Democrats. They are also suggesting he spend the final days of the campaign traveling to states with competitive Senate races. But Obama campaign officials say he'll stop short of that, because the presidential race remains close.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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