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Tens of thousands of Maryland Obama supporters received email messages yesterday afternoon from the president asking them to support Gov. Martin O'Malley in November. The endorsement isn't a huge surprise – the White House is sending Vice President Joe Biden to Maryland later this month to campaign for O'Malley.

There's no word, however, on whether Obama will hit the trail. He's popular in the state and could fuel enthusiasm and turnout in Baltimore and Prince George's County - home to large numbers of African-Americans.

Since moving into the White House, Obama has made frequent stops in Maryland with O'Malley – including inviting the governor to a news conference where he announced that the federal government would lease land for oil drilling off the coast of Virginia. Obama reversed that decision after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., is also attracting some national GOP endorsements. Potential 2012 presidential contender Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romeny keynoted a state Republican fundraiser in June. Ehrlich's first lieutenant governor pick, Michael Steele, also palled around with Ehrlich at the event.

But campaign spokesman Andy Barth could not say whether the national party's superstar Sarah Palin would make an appearance.

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