Terry McAuliffe Draws on Bill Clinton Magic as Lead Widens at End of Va. Race

The former president isn't the only Clinton who has come to give McAuliffe a boost in the final days. Hillary Clinton rallied women voters at a campaign event earlier in the month and she has brought in crucial last-minute donations through high-dollar fundraisers on McAuliffe's behalf.

And, as he is known to do, Clinton held court, intertwining punch lines with folk tales and statistics.

"Terry and I went to Red Lobster," began one Clinton tale in Blacksburg earlier today. "I try to follow my new diet but I still like those biscuits."

The political firepower that has come to Virginia in support of McAuliffe is an indication of how important both parties view this race.

Virginia remains a critical battleground in presidential elections and a McAuliffe victory here, as well as other wins in statewide races, would be painted by Democrats as a repudiation of Cuccinelli's tea party-tinged brand of conservatism.

Undeterred, Cuccinelli has pressed on with his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and his defense of socially conservative views on abortion and gay marriage.

Despite the push to bring his conservative backers into the state, Cuccinelli's poll numbers have stagnated.

Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis has sapped critical support from Cuccinelli's candidacy. And the Post poll today indicates that voters' negative opinion of Cuccinelli -- 58 percent of likely voters view him unfavorably -- will make closing the gap with McAuliffe difficult as the clock runs down.

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