Virginia democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe made one final push to rally support for his campaign with the help of Vice President Joe Biden and local state officials in Annandale Monday.
Both McAuliffe and Biden addressed a crowd of about 100 people at the home of a campaign volunteer and made remarks that starkly contrasted their Democratic candidates for statewide races against the conservative views of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the GOP ticket.
“This choice is between someone who will govern as well as [former Virginia governor and U.S. Sen.] Tim Kaine and someone who wants to govern in what they hope to be a new version of [Texas Sen.] Ted Cruz,” said Biden.
Biden's appearance on
the eve of Election Day in Virginia comes just a day after President Barack
Obama campaigned for McAuliffe in Arlington.
Sen. Mark Warner and Mark Herring, Democratic candidate for Virginia Attorney General also made appearances at Monday's event, along with local officials Congressman Gerry Connolly, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross,, Del. Kaye Kory (D-39th), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37th), Marcus Simon, who’s running for the vacant 53rd District seat in the House of Delegates, Stacey Kincaid, Democratic candidate for Fairfax County Sheriff and Ed Deitsch (D), who’s running in the 42nd District of the House of Representatives against Republican incumbent Dave Albo.
During their remarks, McAuliffe and Biden described the governor's race as between the "mainstream" and the "extreme," aligning Cuccinelli and the GOP ticket with the tea party and its values.
Biden characterized McAuliffe as a “practical businessman”
and a responsible, hard-working man with middle class roots who will help lead
Virginia forward. Cuccinelli, Biden said, is a candidate whose views, particularly on women's issues, are “literally from another era.”
“I think the motto of the tea party should be ‘back to the future’… because everything they’re talking about is about undoing what the vast majority of Americans think is progress,” said Biden.
“These guys are the antithesis of change and progress,” Biden said of the GOP candidates. “It’s hard to fathom this state being led by a man who rejects all that this new thinking stands for."
A new poll released Monday showed McAuliffe ahead of Cuccinelli by 6 points with McAuliffe at 46 percent to Cuccinelli’s 40 percent, according to the Washington Post. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis was at 8 percent.
McAuliffe's narrow lead ties into the rhetoric of both Biden and McAuliffe's comments on Monday about voter turnout. The outcome of the race matters not only to Virginians, Biden said, but the entire country.
”This race has captured the attention of the entire nation, not just because it’s an off-year race in a bellwether state that has become the face of progress in this country. But because it’s the first major race between the forces and faces of the new Republican tea party — a tea party whose social recidivism is only outgunned only by its hostility to science and technology, innovation and scholarship,” said Biden.
“Think about whether or not, with the attitude of Cuccinelli and his ticket, if they were to win, what that will say to America and what that will do to attracting the continuation of this great tradition in this state,” Biden continued. “It’s up to all of you in this backyard and in backyards across the whole state. This election’s going to be decided by votes, by people showing up.”
Although McAuliffe briefly spoke about the importance of “focusing on the issues that matter to Virginians—such as traffic, great schools and economic opportunity,” the key message he pushed to canvassers on Monday was to encourage as many mainstream voters as possible to show up at the polls on Tuesday.
“Those on the ideological extreme are motivated to vote—the question in this race is simple: will the mainstream bipartisan majority in Virginia be drowned out by the tea party? If mainstream Virginians from both parties don’t turn out to vote, you’re letting the tea party decide Virginia’s future,” said McAuliffe. “I need your help now more than ever."