Former President Barack Obama will campaign for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the closing weeks of the state’s hotly contested gubernatorial race.
McAuliffe, who was Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018, is competing against Republican Glenn Youngkin for his old job. The Obama event will be held in Richmond on Oct. 23, 10 days before Election Day.
The former president joins a group of select Democrats to campaign for McAuliffe, Politico reported. President Joe Biden campaigned for him in late July, and first lady Jill Biden will stump for McAuliffe on Friday. Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams will be in Virginia this weekend. She’s a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives.
The former governor has a slight lead against Youngkin, a first-time candidate and former private equity executive. A poll released last week from the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University had McAuliffe at 49%, to Youngkin’s 45%, which is within the poll’s margin of error.
McAuliffe has the advantage of notoriety compared to his opponent and someone who is very capable of raising money.
The Roanoke Times called him a “corporate Democrat,” while The Washington Post wrote that McAuliffe was a “first-rate governor” and would be so again.
National issues like abortion, vaccine mandates, schools, and the fallout from the Jan. 6 incidents at the U.S. Capitol have permeated the race, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Early voting has already begun in Virginia. This year is the first gubernatorial election in which every Virginia voter has access to expanded in-person early voting and mail-in voting. In-person early voting ends Oct. 30, one week after Obama’s appearance.
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