In Maryland, glossy television campaigns over whether to allow a Las Vegas-style casino just outside the District turned old-school with supporters touting union endorsements and opponents boarding a bus tour.
Meanwhile, at an emotionally charged campaign over whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, a lead opponent took his message of traditional family values to a wind-whipped prayer rally in downtown Baltimore. Proponents, as well as those backing another measure to allow some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates, turned to door-knocking and phone calls.
Kaine began the day seeking to invigorate his ground troops at his Richmond campaign headquarters. Although he felt good about his chances, “a narrow lead is no lead at all in the days of super PACs,” Kaine said, referencing polls that suggest he holds an advantage over Allen heading into Tuesday.
Kaine also took aim at television ads from pro-Allen groups.
“There are two styles of campaigning on display in this election,” Kaine said. “One is about grassroots and person-to-
person, and one is about big checks and negative ads.”
Kaine delivered a similar message later in the morning at an Obama campaign office in Fredericksburg, adding an extra shot of optimism that the president will win the state, too. “We want to make sure he’s elected with Virginia, not in spite of Virginia,” Kaine said.
At a hangar at Richmond International Airport festooned in red, white and blue bunting, Allen played on Kaine’s appearance with Obama.
“We need leaders in Washington who listen to the people,” Allen said, echoing a theme the Republican has used on and off as the president’s prospects in the state have appeared to ebb and flow. “Unlike my opponent, who wants to be President Obama’s senator, I want to be Virginia’s senator.”
Ryan (R-Wis.) stressed Virginia’s special role as a swing state in determining who controls the White House and the Senate. Ryan compared it to the part the commonwealth played in the nation’s founding.
“Look, it came out of this state, the idea of America,” Mitt Romney’s running mate said. “You realize Virginia and just a handful of states hold the key to this.”
The historical themes resonated with John Wallmeyer of Hanover County, Va., a retired auto mechanic and trucker decked out like Patrick Henry in a tricorn hat.
“He’s the one who did ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ ” Wallmeyer explained to reporters on hand from China and Sweden. “Our liberty is at stake.”