Obama campaigning as he returns to political life

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Murphy faces Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on November 7 in the race to replace Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who prohibited by term limit laws from running again.

Virginia is considered the only competitive statewide race in the nation this year, and a recent poll from Monmouth University gave Gillespie a one point edge over Northam, raising the stakes for Obama's visit to the state with the election less than three weeks away.

A few hours before President Barack Obama was scheduled to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy in Newark Thursday, his GOP rival said she was unfazed - and then took shot at her opponent.

Appearing at an event in Newark with Phil Murphy, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany during the Obama administration, the former president praised Murphy as the right choice for New Jersey voters. Republicans now control both chambers.

A senior adviser to Obama said in a statement that the former President wanted the focus on the candidates and their specific platforms during these campaign appearances, rather than fight the current administration.

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Trump's combative style and inflammatory comments have led to frequent controversy and stoked political tensions.

Opinion polls show Murphy, a former investment banker and US ambassador to Germany, has a comfortable lead on Republican opponent Kim Guadagno, the New Jersey lieutenant governor, who is hindered by the unpopularity in the state of Trump and Republican Governor Chris Christie. On Obama's last day in office, he had a 59 percent approval rating, his highest since December 2012 and his inauguration, according to Gallup.

"You can't take this election or any election for granted".

"I will refer you both to the Constitution as well as to Michelle Obama to explain why that will not happen", he said. "We are rejecting a politics of fear", Obama continued.

Obama will head to Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday evening to rally support for Democrat Ralph Northam in his race against former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie.

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