Over the final week of the campaign in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe stumped with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Ken Cuccinelli's companions on the campaign trail? Ron Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Notice a difference?
The closing days of the Virginia governor's race highlighted a key advantage for Democrats running in swing states across the country: they have popular national surrogates with real star power who can drive tons of media attention (and voter excitement) with a single appearance. Republicans are hamstrung in the surrogate race because former President George W. Bush is uninterested in playing an active role in partisan politics and former Vice President Dick Cheney isn't all that popular even among Republicans these days. Colin Powell? He endorsed Obama in 2008 and has stayed away from doing campaign appearances with GOP candidates. (Republicans' best surrogate -- Chris Christie -- was wrapped up in his own re-election race this fall.)