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Posted at 3:11 PM ET, 11/24/2010

Obama has yet to visit half the states won by John McCain in 2008

By Felicia Sonmez

President Obama's visit to Kokomo, Ind., this week brought him back to a small Midwestern town that he visited once before in April 2008 and to a state that Obama has visited at least four times since his stunning win there two years ago.

But while Indiana has gotten plenty of love from the president, there are still a number of states that Obama has not visited during his term, the majority of them firmly in Republican territory.

According to The Washington Post's POTUS Tracker, which keeps tabs on the president's daily schedule, there are a dozen states that Obama has yet to visit as president. Eleven of those were won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by wide margins in 2008 -- including eight that McCain won by double-digits -- meaning the president has not visited half of the 22 states that McCain carried two years ago.

The list includes Oklahoma, McCain's second-best state and the only one in the country where Obama lost every county. But it also includes Vermont, Obama's second-best state and one of several where he won every county. (With the exception of Vermont, Obama has visited all of the 27 other states he carried in 2008.)

In addition, of the five states that trended more Republican in 2008 than in 2004 -- Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma and West Virginia -- Obama has visited only Louisiana and West Virginia.

The states Obama has not visited are concentrated in two main regions of the country: the Great Plains, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma; and the South, including Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Two Rocky Mountain States -- Idaho and Utah -- have not hosted the president. Vermont is the only northeastern state that makes the list.

Some states, by contrast, have seen a flurry of presidential visits over the past 22 months. Since becoming president, Obama has made at least 12 separate visits to Ohio, nine to Pennsylvania and Florida, eight to Illinois and seven to California.

It's worth noting that Obama's travel schedule, especially over the past several months, has been dictated in large part by this year's midterm elections. Obama himself vowed to stump for candidates in states where he thought he could be most helpful, and the White House deployed him judiciously over the course of the campaign. Most of the states where Obama has made multiple visits had Democrats were locked in high-stakes, competitive Senate or gubernatorial races.

Asked about the states Obama has yet to visit, White House spokesman Josh Earnest noted that many of them simply didn't have races this year that rose to the level of presidential involvement. Earnest also noted that, in covering 38 states so far, the president has visited more than 1.5 states per month during his 22 months in office.

"That's a decent pace, but I do think that the president will spend even more time outside of Washington in the next two years," the official said.

By Felicia Sonmez  | November 24, 2010; 3:11 PM ET
Categories:  Governors, House, Senate, White House  
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