Virginia Governor Election 2013: Obamacare and shutdown cited in debate
Energized and optimistic, frontrunner Terry McAuliffe took the stage in Annandale on Monday morning with Vice President Joe Biden. Biden was urging a big turnout, and told voters not to take McAuliffe for granted.
Both made the argument that Tuesday’s election is a statement on whether voters support the Democratic or Republican view of the future, tying Republican Ken Cuccinelli and his ideas to Senator Ted Cruz and others largely blamed for the government shutdown.
"I'm here because this race matters well beyond the state of Virginia," said Biden.
"While he wants everyone to forget the shutdown, we are not gonna forget -- Virginia's memory is better than that!" McAuliffe exclaimed to a cheering crowd.
Later in Warrenton, Washington again cast a big shadow, as Cuccinelli tied McAuliffe to the failed Obamacare rollout.
"Biggest disaster to ever happen to this country!" he said. "It was a disaster from day one."
And he got some help from Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
"The first day the website opened, six people signed up -- that's the good news," said the Republican leader. "The bad news is they had promised free steak knives to the seventh!" he laughed.
There’s no mistaking the theme just one day before election day: attack almost exclusively on one topic -- Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare.
Ken Cuccinelli believes that citing its controversy and failures is enough to energize otherwise lukewarm voters.
"Absolutely, real life has that affect on people," he says.
Voters like one mother of eight says she has multiple futures to worry about:
"Well, Obamacare is a question," says Geraldine Erikson. "I mean, it's hurting a lot of people. I got a letter from an insurer this week saying their contract with a local hospital has been crushed."
But there is another kind of fear on the other side of this vote – rallying not so much for their candidate as against their opposition – or in other words, against Cuccinelli.
"He would like to take away our choices, so I am here to stand up for every woman that can't," says Barbara Burgess, who supports McAuliffe but rallied in Warrenton.
"I cannot vote because I'm British ...but I feel so strongly about what women put up with," adds Jacqui Thompson.
On Sunday, President Obama rallied for McAuliffe along with Kerry Washington, urging Virginians that no vote can be taken for granted, On Monday, Joe Biden agreed.
"The other side will generate every single solitary Tea Party sympathizer in this state," he said. "They will show up. So it's all up to you."
And later, the night before voters decide who will be Virginia’s next governor, voters like David Goure and Adrienne Kimble spoke for many who say they’re glad it will all finally be coming to an end.
"To hear both sides slinging mud constantly is disheartening," they say. "I think the negativity does turn a lot of people off."
The final sprint continued for Ken Cuccinelli on Monday night in Virginia Beach, where he repeated the main attack point when it comes to his opponent: the Affordable Care Act.
"That's what you get with Democrats -- more and more Obamacare," he said.
But Cuccinelli may be missing something here. Alex Burns with POLITICO says frontrunner McAuliffe is in the lead because the lagging candidate has not yet attracted voters beyond the Republican base.
"You never saw him do what Bob McDonnell did so successfully in 2009 -- effectively run to the middle with a message that could win over even some wavering Democrats," Burns explained.