Former President Barack Obama will campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe Saturday as polls have tightened in a race seen as a bellwether for next year’s midterms.
As recent polls show McAuliffe’s lead in the state within the margin of error, top Democrats are coming to the state to help boost turnout.
The election is expected to signal how difficult it will be for Democrats to hold onto the House and Senate in 2022. The party in power usually loses seats in midterm elections. The Democrats control both chambers with razor-thin margins.
First lady Jill Biden will campaign for McAuliffe in Henrico on Friday, and former Georgia minority leader Stacey Abrams, who is widely credited with boosting 2020 turnout in that state’s special election, will lead a “souls to the polls” effort in Norfolk on Sunday.
McAuliffe confirmed the campaign stops in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” saying that national politics — including the long-running debate over passing Biden’s domestic policy bill — was making the race more difficult. In recent comments, he’s also blamed President Joe Biden’s low approval rating in Virginia.
“There are headwinds coming out, and I’m hopeful we can get an infrastructure bill done very quickly,” he said. “They need to do their job.”
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