Obama Stumps to Make Va. Gov's Race a Tea Party Referendum

Cuccinelli shared the stage with some of his own party's power players this weekend while crisscrossing the state by plane. He campaigned Saturday with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas are also set to join him before voting concludes.

Recent polls have trended in McAuliffe's favor, although the strength of his lead has fluctuated substantially across each. For example, a Washington Post-Abt-SRBI poll released last week gave the Democrat a 12-point edge, but a Quinnipiac University survey reduced that lead to 4 percent. Further muddling the outcome has been Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis, 37, who tugged away 8 or 9 percent of voters dissatisfied with the major parties, according to the Post and Quinnipiac, respectively.

In Harrisonburg today, Cuccinelli credited backlash against the Affordable Care Act, and its broken website, with providing last-minute momentum for his candidacy.

"There are a lot of things I'd love to have in a campaign but of all of them the one we've got right now may be the most important of all and that is momentum," Cuccinelli told supporters as he flew into the conservative southwest portion of the state. "This race is coming our way.

"And the other side, God bless 'em, is helping us out with that: the birthplace of presidents is happy to welcome the president of the United States onto our side of the Potomac today and to crystallize the focus of this campaign around Obamacare," he added.

Cuccinelli boasted that he was "literally the first human being" to challenge the health care law with a lawsuit as attorney general soon after it was signed into law in 2010. He has kept a laser focus on his opposition to the law, insisting, unlike his opponent McAuliffe, that if elected governor, he would reject an optional expansion of Medicaid that is being offered to states by the federal government as part of Obamacare.

The ugly and costly campaign between two flawed candidates has garnered a high level of attention from each political party as they look forward to 2016 and seek to turn the contest into a referendum on the policies of Obama. Millions of dollars from outside groups have poured into the race, especially on women's issues and gun control, in these final days. But Democrats have dominated the airwaves by a 10-1 margin, according to The Associated Press.

Cuccinelli acknowledged in an interview with reporters after the rally that the money and the negative ads have made a difference.

On top of outside spending, McAuliffe has outraised Cuccinelli significantly. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, McAuliffe raised about $33 million to Cuccinelli's $21 million as of Oct, 23. The numbers have climbed even higher in the campaign's final days. "Money counts," Cuccinelli said. "The out spending that we see on television is really a difference of out of state money, so it's had an effect."

"There a reason we have this momentum and it's because of substance," Cuccinelli said.

Democrats have relentlessly attacked Cuccinelli for what they have called his "extreme" agenda on women's issues by highlighting his opposition to abortion, and tying him to a failed bill that would have mandated an ultrasound before abortion procedures could be performed.

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