President Joe Biden will travel to Arlington, Virginia Tuesday night to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who’s seen his lead over Republican Glenn Youngkin slip away with one week to go until the election.
A new USA Today/Suffolk University Poll released Tuesday has the candidates essentially tied – with McAuliffe receiving 45.6 per cent and Youngkin at 45.2 per cent. Five per cent of Virginians polls remained undecided.
That’s a big change, as McAuliffe had been comfortably ahead of Youngkin for most of the race – sometimes by as much as nine points, surveys showed.
President Joe Biden will return to the campaign trail Tuesday night to stump for Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who is now tied with Republican Glenn Youngkin in the commonwealth’s gubernatorial race
As the polls have tightened, big name Democrats have flocked to Virginia. Former President Barack Obama (left) appeared with McAuliffe (right) on Saturday in Richmond
Singer Dave Matthews (middle left) joined McAuliffe (right) on the campaign trail in Charlottesville on Sunday, along with Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison (left) and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams (middle right)
McAuliffe was a known quantity in Virginia, having already served as governor.
Virginia doesn’t allow governors to run for consecutive terms, so McAuliffe had to sit out four years before running for his old job again.
Now that the race has tightened, Democrats have been forced to send their biggest political stars to the state to get McAuliffe across the line.
Polling has shown that Youngkin is more likely to win if turnout is low.
Republicans in the state are more enthusiastic about voting in the race than their Democratic counterparts, the Monmouth survey showed.
On Saturday, former President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail, urging Democrats, ‘Don’t sit this one out.’
He linked Youngkin, a businessman who used to lead the Carlyle Group, to former President Donald Trump and the so-called ‘big lie.’
‘You can’t run ads telling me you are a regular old hoops-playing, dish-washing, fleece-wearing guy, but quietly cultivate support from those who seek to tear down our democracy,’ Obama said.
Obama said Youngkin had wanted to audit voting machines used in the last presidential election.
‘Really? Encouraging the lies and conspiracy theories that we’ve had to live through all this time? And yet we’re supposed to believe he’s going to stand up for our democracy?’ Obama mused.
At another campaign event over the weekend, McAuliffe was joined by Dave Matthews, the frontman of the Dave Matthews Band, in Charlottesville, where the band got its start.
Former Georgia gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams and Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison were also on hand.
Before that, Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned with McAuliffe on Thursday, while First Lady Jill Biden joined him on the campaign trail the week before.
Harris will return to the campaign trail for McAuliffe on Friday, at a Norfolk event with singer Pharrell Williams.
McAuliffe (left) appeared with Vice President Kamala Harris (right) at a campaign event Thursday night in Dumfries, Virginia. Monmouth, Emerson and Suffolk polls this week showed McAuliffe tied with Republican rival Glenn Youngkin, spooking Democrats
McAuliffe (left) appeared with First Lady Jill Biden (right) at a rally earlier this month in Richmond, Virginia
Biden’s appearance in Arlington, one of D.C.’s blue suburbs, marks the second time he’ll join McAuliffe on the campaign trail.
He also attended a rally in July.
Biden is squeezing in the trip before heading to Italy and Scotland for the G20 and COP26. It also comes as negotiations on the Built Back Better reconciliation bill continue on Capitol Hill.
In September, Biden helped California Gov. Gavin Newsom overcome a recall election threat.
Biden appeared with Newsom in Long Beach, California on election eve.
They were successful, in part, because the two Democrats nationalized the election and turned Newsom’s top Republican competitor, radio talk show host Larry Elder, into a new version of Trump.