Biden joins Virginia Democrats' fundraising push with abortion restrictions at stake

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.

November 3, 2023, 1:13 PM

In a final push ahead of Tuesday's elections in Virginia, with abortion restrictions at stake, Democrats are getting a boost from President Joe Biden.

"Folks, in Virginia, the stakes have never been higher," Biden said in a new fundraising email sent through the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. "Governor Glenn Youngkin and extreme Republicans have made it clear that they're trying to take our country back on issues like choice."

President Joe Biden holds a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 2, 2023.
Chris Kleponis, Pool/CNP via Picture Alliance via Newscom

The email, obtained first by ABC News, marks the latest example of Democrats at the national level getting actively involved in next week's high-stakes elections in Virginia.

The party's show of support comes as Virginia is the only Southern state that has not tightened restrictions on abortion since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last year.

If Republicans win full control of the Legislature, Democrats say Youngkin will try again to ban the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions after a previous push was blocked by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"President Biden's involvement in the final push for next week's crucial legislative elections highlights the importance of these races to the entire country," DLCC President Heather Williams told ABC News. "[His] fundraising for the DLCC shows Democrats are united as we head down the home stretch and get out the vote."

In response to Biden's involvement, Dave Rexrode, Youngkin's political adviser and chairman of his PAC, Spirit of Virginia, said that Virginia Democrats are "making the election about Joe Biden versus Youngkin."

"They should check the poll numbers of their lead surrogate," Rexrode said. "We'll take that matchup every day of the week."

The support from Biden follows another Democratic national figure to join the race.

Former President Barack Obama recorded robocalls through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, urging voters in Virginia to head to the polls.

Back in September, Biden directed the Democratic National Committee to pour $1.2 million to counter fundraising by Governor Glenn Youngkin.

"Democrats are playing defense in Virginia," said Chapman Rackaway, a professor and chair of political science at Radford University. "They very much want to keep Governor Youngkin from getting Republican majorities in both chambers, so they see the stakes as very high. They have gone all-in on the Virginia legislative races."

Youngkin has also raised historic amounts of money, his Spirit of Virginia political action committee reported over $22 million since March to support Republican candidates.

"Governor Youngkin doesn't seem to need much help from the national party," said Rackaway. "If he is the main outside source of money for state candidates and he gets Republican control of both chambers, the new majority will have him and only him to thank for their power and should help enact his agenda."

PHOTO: In this Sept. 16, 2023, file photo, Virginia state Senate candidate Russet Perry, joins campaign volunteers during a campaign stop in the Cascades area of Sterling, Va.
In this Sept. 16, 2023, file photo, Virginia state Senate candidate Russet Perry, joins campaign volunteers during a campaign stop in the Cascades area of Sterling, Va. Democratic candidate Perry, a prosecutor and former CIA officer, is running for a seat that could decide control of the Virginia state Senate in November.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP, FILE

Democrats collectively reported a fundraising edge with all legislative candidates raising $46 million over four weeks in October, according to finance disclosures.

Democrats want to regain control of the House of Delegates and maintain their narrow majority in the state Senate.

Meanwhile, Republicans hope to hold their current, narrow majority in the House and flip the Senate, aiming to gain complete control of the General Assembly.