Obama stumps for Virginia candidate in race seen as referendum on Biden

Opinion polls show McAuliffe, who served as Virginia's governor from 2014 to 2018, and Republican Glenn Youngkin nearly tied in the countdown to the Nov. 2 election.

2021-10-23 03:30:00 PM

Former U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday joins a roster of high-profile Democrats campaigning for Terry McAuliffe, a candidate for Virginia governor in a race seen as barometer of the country's political direction after Joe Biden won the presidency.

Opinion polls show McAuliffe, who served as Virginia's governor from 2014 to 2018, and Republican Glenn Youngkin nearly tied in the countdown to the Nov. 2 election.

Youngkin's strength in the polls during the first weeks of early voting has worried Democrats, who anticipated a comfortable lead in a state that has trended blue in recent years. Democrats flipped the Virginia legislature in 2019 and Trump lost the state by 10 percentage points in November 2020, double his margin of defeat in 2016.

Obama, who served as president from 2008 to 2016, will speak at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond on Saturday afternoon, aiming to boost McAuliffe, 64, in the final leg of the race. Biden is due to campaign with McAuliffe next week.In a television ad broadcast on Wednesday, Obama backed McAuliffe's stances on climate change, abortion rights and voting rights.

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