President Obama will stump for Terry McAuliffe, Democrat candidate for Virginia Governor, on Sunday, at a get-out-the-vote rally in Northern Virginia. It is Obama’s first campaign appearance for McAuliffe, who has held a slim, but steady, lead in all recent polls. Virginia voters go to the polls next Tuesday.
To translate his lead in the polls into victory, McAuliffe needs to replicate the Democrat turnout in 2012. That is a tall order in an off-year election, which tends to generate an older and more conservative turnout. This week, McAuliffe is conducting a four-day campaign swing with former President Bill Clinton, at events designed to boost minority turnout. The Obama event is designed to boost turnout in vote-rich Northern Virginia, which is more liberal than the rest of the state.
On Monday, the Washington Post released a poll showing McAuliffe with a 12-point lead in the race. Weirdly, though, the Post poll showed only 1% of the voters undecided. That small a number of undecideds, with a week of campaigning ahead, suggests that voters were “pushed” into declaring for a candidate. A veteran Virginia pollster, Breitbart News has learned, says the results of the poll are “at least” six points off, and notes that the Post polls ordinarily overestimate Democrat performance in the Commonwealth.
Cuccinelli has run a terrible campaign. This problem has been compounded by a huge money edge for McAuliffe. His campaign has out-raised Cuccinelli, and his advantage has been increased by bloated spending from outside groups like Planned Parenthood and Michael Bloomberg.
McAuliffe, however, still needs an historic turnout to carry the day. In the last nine elections, the winner of the Governor’s mansion has been a member of the party opposite to that holding the White House. Even with declining poll numbers and the taint of ObamaCare’s failed rollout, President Obama may still be able to juice the turnout in favor of McAuliffe.
It is telling that McAuliffe needs this risky move.