The Obama administration is making a late show of force to help Terry McAuliffe in the closing days of his bid for Virginia governor.
President Obama will campaign for McAuliffe (D) Sunday in Northern Virginia, two days before voters go to the polls. The appearance will cap an escalating series of events designed to boost turnout for McAuliffe, who is running against state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R).
Vice President Biden will take his turn Monday morning, appearing with McAuliffe at 9 a.m. in Annandale to motivate volunteers before a day of canvassing. (The exact locations of Obama and Biden’s events have not yet been released.)
And first lady Michelle Obama is rounding out the effort with a new radio ad urging Virginians to vote next Tuesday.
“We all worked so hard last year to reelect Barack as president, and whether it’s building good schools, or creating good jobs, or ensuring women can make their own decisions about their health, the issues we were fighting for then matter just as much in Virginia today,” Michelle Obama says in the ad. “I hope that you’ll cast your vote for Terry McAuliffe.”
Michelle Obama has pitched in for McAuliffe before, hosting a Tysons Corner fundraiser for him in June.
McAuliffe is in the midst of a four-day campaign swing with former president Bill Clinton, while Cuccinelli appeared Monday with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). A new poll shows McAuliffe with a 12-point lead over Cuccinelli.
McAuliffe’s team is hoping to boost turnout, particularly among African Americans and young voters, two groups who have historically voted at lower rates during governor’s races than presidential elections. Those demographic groups helped Obama win Virginia in 2008 and 2012.
Cuccinelli said in a statement released Tuesday that it was “telling” that McAuliffe would campaign with Obama right before Election Day.
“The move makes official what we have already known to be true: McAuliffe’s unwavering support for the President’s signature legislative achievement, Obamacare,” Cuccinelli said, referring to the recently implemented federal health-care law that was bitterly denounced by most Republicans.
“The law is already preventing hiring and job growth across Virginia, driving up the cost of insurance for families and forcing employers to drop coverage for workers,” Cuccinelli said. “If McAuliffe wanted to do right by the people of Virginia, he would ask the President to apologize for misleading the public so spectacularly.”