RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s high profile race for the governor’s mansion continues to bring out the heavy hitters; an exclusive club of people to occupy the White House are campaigning on both sides of this contested election.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden stumped for Terry McAuliffe in Henrico’s east end Friday night, the first in a series of democratic personalities set to campaign for the former governor just before election day.
“We will win this,” Biden told a crowd of over 200 at Dorey Park.
The Virginia GOP welcomed President Trump to call-in to a Henrico rally this week to offer his support for Glenn Youngkin, though the Republican nominee did not attend.
The GOP nominee made his case to a crowd of supporters last week in Chesterfield.
“Let’s change the future of our Commonwealth forever,” Youngkin said.
With under three weeks before the final day to vote on Nov. 2, polls show a neck and neck race, and both candidates are likely to keep throwing punches.
“Could you imagine what would happen to this state if Glenn Youngkin were elected governor?” McAuliffe asked during a speech to his supporters Friday night.
“The bottom has fallen out of Terry McAuliffe’s campaign,” Youngkin said in Chesterfield.
Last week an 8News/Emerson College poll showed McAuliffe with 49% of support among likely voters in this race. Glenn Youngkin polled 48%. An essential toss-up within the typical margin of error around three percentage points.
The country waits and watches how voters will turn out in this election, a major statewide race after the last presidential election.
“Whatever party is in power in the national scene, their party tends to do worse in local elections; a kind of bounce back effect,” 8News Political Analyst Rich Meagher said.
The potential for the state to flip red is something Virginia Democratic Party Chair Susan Swecker acknowledged at McAuliffe’s rally.
“We are riding on this, this year, and if Virginia would go red, we will face a red wave next year across this country,” Swecker said.
Democrats have, and will continue to roll out heavy hitters. Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff visited Central Virginia recently.
Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams will join the campaign trail Sunday in Norfolk and Northern Virginia.
Former President Barack Obama will visit Richmond next Saturday to back McAuliffe.