RICHMOND | Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II made their last-minute appeals to voters across Virginia on Monday, as the final polls showed a close contest heading into Election Day.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden urged Democrats not to let up on the final day of campaigning and the get-out-the-vote effort as Republicans were fanning out across the state seeking to fire up their base.
“Don’t take this for granted, man. This is an off year,” Mr. Biden said. “Don’t be going to bed Tuesday night thinking, ‘If I had knocked on 10 more doors, if I had knocked on 20 more doors’ … You don’t want to be there.”
Mr. Cuccinelli, meanwhile, campaigned with Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican weighing a presidential bid in 2016.
The Republican candidate in recent weeks has pinned his hopes on public dissatisfaction with President Obama’s health care reform law translating to energy for his campaign and has taken that message to his base.
The theme continued Monday, as the Virginia election was described as a referendum on the new law.
“This is the first election in America since the full impact of Obamacare has been felt,” Mr. Rubio said. “The whole country is waiting for your choice.”
“I’m scared to death about what Obamacare is doing to Virginians. Terry McAuliffe is scared to death what Obamacare is doing to Terry McAuliffe,” Mr. Cuccinelli said. “Tomorrow, we need to have his fears fulfilled.”
Mr. Biden followed Democrats’ recent emphasis on the economic impact the federal government shutdown had on the country and on Virginia, which was disproportionately affected because of the heavy volume of federal employees and people with jobs tied to the federal government.
“I’m here because this race matters well beyond the state of Virginia,” Mr. Biden said. “The whole nation is looking at this race — and, again, it’s not hyperbole. The whole nation is looking at this race.”
Mr. Cuccinelli concluded a whirlwind tour with a Monday evening rally with former Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, who is beloved among the party’s libertarian wing.
“Ken has been targeted because they want to humiliate those who will stand up against the federal government,” Mr. Paul said. “It’s going to take strong people who say enough is enough — we don’t want any more overbearing federal government.”
The prime-time appearance in Richmond was part of a Republican play to woo libertarian voters who might be pondering a vote for third-party candidate Robert Sarvis.
Polls showed Mr. McAuliffe maintaining his modest but statistically significant lead over Mr. Cuccinelli. Mr. McAuliffe held a 7-point lead, 50 percent to 43 percent, in a poll released late Sunday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, with the Libertarian Mr. Sarvis taking 4 percent of the vote.
Mr. McAuliffe had a 6-point lead, 46 percent to 40 percent, in a poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University, with Mr. Sarvis earning 8 percent.