- The Washington Times - Friday, October 13, 2017

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam and his Republican rival Ed Gillespie are pulling out a couple of the big guns Saturday, as they look to energize their respective coalitions less than a month out from Election Day.

Mr. Northam plans to spend the morning campaigning with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden in Northern Virginia, and Mr. Gillespie is set to appear at an evening rally with Vice President Mike Pence in Southwest Virginia.

The race is tight, according to polls, which has shown Mr. Northam, the state’s lieutenant governor, with a fairly consistent lead, riding strong support from voters in the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

But Mr. Gillespie is blowing Mr. Northam away in the rural parts of the state and hoping that his attempts to cast Mr. Northam as soft on crime and MS-13 gangs could weaken his support in key areas of Northern Virginia.

“The favorable environment — that is, a fairly unpopular Republican president in the White House and a relatively popular outgoing Democratic governor — is helping to keep the Democrat slightly ahead, but given the tendency in Virginia to vote against the sitting presidential party in gubernatorial elections and Trump’s poor approval rating, Northam should maybe be ahead by a little more,” says the most recent analysis from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

Mr. Pence will join Mr. Gillespie and the rest of the GOP ticket at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Abington. Mr. Biden and Mr. Northam, meanwhile, are set to host a workforce development roundtable event in Reston.

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