Politics Barack Obama to campaign for Terry McAulliffe and Virginia Democrats ahead of off-year elections
Black voters were central to Terry McAuliffe winning the governor's mansion in 2013. Will they help him return?
Back in 2013, Terry McAuliffe won a majority of Black voters when he sought -- and ultimately won -- the top office in Virginia. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) arrives to speak during an election night event after winning the Democratic primary for governor on June 8, 2021 in McLean, Virginia. M As he vies for a second term as the Commonwealth's governor, he wants to do it again.
Former President Barack Obama will campaign for Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Democrats, the gubernatorial nominee announced on Tuesday.
"The stakes are so huge," McAuliffe said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "If people don't understand, they come out in presidential years, but they have to come out in this off year because literally their lives depend on it."
McAuliffe said Obama was campaigning for him on Saturday, but his campaign later clarified in a statement that the event will be held next Saturday on October 23.
McAuliffe and Virginia Democrats have grown more concerned in recent weeks that their party's base voters are not as focused on the race as they need to win, raising fears that a low turnout election with a more conservative electorate could leadto victory next month.
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As Terry Greear heads back Tuesday to teaching, his family wants to share their rollercoaster of pain, they told CNN, to try to save others from living the kind of agony they endured -- especially as average daily coronavirus cases have surged in Florida."I was extremely scared," Greear said.
"If people don't wake up," a Democratic operative in Virginia told CNN recently, "we are in trouble."
McAuliffe has tried to rouse voters by routinely saying the off-year race is going to be tight and, of late, noting that President Joe Biden's. "The President is unpopular today, unfortunately, here in Virginia, so we have got to plow through," the former governor .
Obama is one of the biggest names in Democratic politics and has long been able to garner considerable media attention and engage the party's base. Obama won Virginia twice, too, by 6 percentage points in 2008 and nearly 4 percentage points in 2012.
Recent polls show a tight race between Youngkin and McAuliffe. Areleased in late September found McAuliffe "maintains a small lead," taking 48% to Youngkin's 43%, similar to their survey in August. A released around the same time found a similar split, with McAuliffe at 48% to Youngkin's 44%.
Obama will be just one of many top Democrats to campaign for McAuliffe. Stacey Abrams, a top Georgia Democrat and voting rights activist, will campaign for the Democratic ticket this weekend, while first lady Jill Biden will campaign with McAuliffe on Friday. The President campaigned with McAuliffe in Northern Virginia over the summer.
McAuliffe Retains Slight Lead Over Youngkin in Polls 2 Weeks Ahead of Virginia Election .
Political strategists have suggested the gubernatorial election's outcome may indicate how voters will cast their ballots during the 2022 midterms.Statewide voter surveys conducted in recent weeks have shown a tightening race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, the leading candidates on the ballot. Both candidates have received endorsements from top members of their respective parties ahead of what some political strategists have said is likely to be an indicator of voting in the 2022 midterm elections.