Barack Obama will make his sixth visit to Indiana as president, and his first since 2011, when he stops in Gibson County on Friday. The White House officially announced his visit to a Toyota supplier is in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day, but my guess is the real reason for the trip has little to do with that.

Like Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville news crosses into Indiana, Evansville television stations are viewed in southeastern Illinois and northwestern Kentucky. And those states have one thing in common: key 2014 races.

The president will get free earned media coverage in Illinois, a state with a competitive gubernatorial race, and Kentucky, a state with a less-than-competitive U.S. Senate contest, all for the price of a flight to Evansville.

Of course, there could be a legitimate Hoosier reason for his visit. But it’s hard to believe that when you look at the calendar.