Obama goes on campaign ahead of gubernatorial election in Virginia, New Jersey
“I want you to get on fire inside and go and vote. … We don’t have time to be tired! Obama said at a rally for the Democratic Virginia ticket in Richmond.
Still held the year following a presidential election, the statewide and legislative races in both states on November 2 of this year are seen as barometers for the country’s political landscape as the elections approach. mid-terms. A strong performance by the Democrats could allay party fears about 2022, but if Republicans make any gains, it will serve as a wake-up call for Democrats as they attempt to connect with voters in the post-Trump era .
In Virginia, the race between former governor Terry McAuliffe, who is running for a second term in Virginia, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, a former private equity executive, is neck and neck. A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed the candidates were tied among registered voters.
At the rally in Richmond, Obama and McAuliffe highlighted the national implications of this election.
“Don’t just sit in there,” Obama urged Democrats. “Go out there and fight and work because you are going to decide this election and the direction of Virginia, and the direction of this country for generations to come.”
“This election is about the next chapter of Virginia and our country,” McAuliffe said. “It’s about getting us out of this pandemic, keeping our economy strong, protecting voter rights, protecting abortion rights and more. We can’t afford to go back to division, to culture wars and conspiracy theories. We have gone too far to return. “
In championing the cause of McAuliffe, whom he nicknamed “the Energizer Bunny”, Obama said he “couldn’t be happier that Terry is back on the ticket… because I know he will make you proud. as governor, because he has already done it! “
“He walked, didn’t just talk,” said the former president. “This kind of experience is important because the work we have to do is too important to be left to chance.”
While the race between New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former member of the Assembly, appears to be heading for a Democratic victory, according to recent polls, Obama has nonetheless made the trip to Newark on first day of advance voting in person. never in a position to cede to the incumbent operator.
“So Phil’s been busy. He’s been busy. He got the job done, and you know what? That track record matters,” Obama said. “If you elect him, Phil will work to make health care and housing more affordable. He will invest in clean energy. He will do whatever it takes to keep people safe and help New Jersey. to come out of the pandemic stronger than before. And when he says that’s what I’m going to do, you know he’s going to do it because he wasn’t on empty promises this first term. “
In remarks to Obama, Murphy said participation was the key to a Democratic victory in 10 days.
“Look, the math is simple. Our team is bigger than theirs. Our team is showing up, we are winning. Our team is not showing up, this thing is a toss. We can’t let that happen,” he said. he declared. .
At both events, Obama echoed a phrase he spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention when attendees booed at the mention of then-candidate Donald Trump: “Don’t boo, vote!”
“Booing might make you feel better, but that won’t elect Terry – vote!” he said to Richmond.
The former president is not the first prominent substitute to follow the trail with Murphy and McAuliffe, who hopes to secure Virginia’s leadership position for the second time after stepping down in 2018. First Lady Jill Biden s clash with the two Democrats last week, and Georgian Stacey Abrams and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned with McAuliffe on Sunday and Thursday, respectively.
“Let’s be clear on who this man is. He’s got the experience of life, the work experience, the experience in this state.… He keeps his promises, he’s a fighter,” Harris said of McAuliffe. . “When you elect someone or a governor, you want to make sure you really know who they are. Well, we know who Terry is.”
Recognizing how close the race is between McAuliffe and Youngkin, she added: “We have to make it clear that we don’t take anything for granted. You know, four years ago there were a lot of people who said, ‘Oh , if I don’t vote, everything will be fine. It was not good. “
McAuliffe also scheduled an event with President Joe Biden in the deep blue of Arlington on Tuesday. While Biden and McAuliffe have been friends for more than 40 years, the president hasn’t stood up to him since late July. Earlier this month, McAuliffe admitted that Biden’s approval rating had taken a hit since then.
“We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington, as you know. The president is sadly unpopular today here in Virginia, so we have to fend for ourselves,” he said at a virtual rally. .
But when ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl asked him Friday whether Biden’s problems were “a drag” for him in Virginia, McAuliffe said he was “delighted to see him return.”
“Look, we’re happy here. Biden, through his efforts with the US bailout – I got $ 14 billion. I’m very confident that we’re going to pass an infrastructure bill, which will pay off. billion to the state, so listen, he’s coming Tuesday. We’re so glad he’s coming back. He’s already here for me… all hands on the deck. Dude, that’s exciting, “he said in an interview for ABC’s “This Week.”
Early voting in Virginia has been underway since mid-September and ends on October 30. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, more than 600,000 people have already voted. Early voting in person in New Jersey continues until October 31.