- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2021

Democrat Terry McAuliffe held his final rally in his northern Virginia base, invoking former President Donald Trump several times in his closing stump speech.

Mr. McAuliffe, who is neck-and-neck with Republican Glenn Youngkin, spoke outside of Caboose Commons brewery in Fairfax, Virginia, on Monday night where he attacked his opponent for having Mr. Trump’s endorsement.

Glenn Youngkin is closing his event with Donald Trump, here in Virginia, where he brought hatred, divisiveness and it is a disgrace,” Mr. McAuliffe said. “Donald Trump wants to win here tomorrow night, so the next day he can announce for president of the United States.”

Mr. McAuliffe mentioned Mr. Trump several times, despite rejecting the notion that the election was about the former president in a weekend interview.

Mr. Trump was scheduled to hold a tele-rally for Mr. Youngkin on Monday.

Glenn Youngkin has been endorsed by Donald Trump 10 times,” Mr. McAuliffe said. “He said, ‘So much of the reason why I’m running is because of Donald Trump.’ Well, let me be clear to everybody here. The reason Terry McAuliffe is running for governor is because of you.”

Mr. McAuliffe spent Monday also making stops in Roanoke and Richmond. He initially planned a rally in Virginia Beach, but canceled the event.

The Democrat, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, also discussed his education and economic plan, as well as his support for abortion and LGBTQ rights. He also expressed his support for public schools and workers’ unions.

Mr. McAuliffe was joined by several others who represent labor unions, gun control groups, and Hispanic advocacy organizations.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, stumped ahead of Mr. McAuliffe.

Ms. Weingarten touched on Mr. McAuliffe’s record as governor, including his support for public educators.

“We know what happened when Terry McAuliffe was governor in the state,” Ms. Weingarten said. “We know how things turned around in terms of people being seen and respected. People were heard. Teachers were heard. The disenfranchised were heard.”

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, lieutenant governor candidate Hala Ayala and Attorney General Mark Herring, who is running for a third term, also attended.

Though the majority of the crowd said they had already voted, Mr. McAuliffe asked them to get people to the polls on Tuesday.

“I need you. Tomorrow’s the big day,” Mr. McAuliffe said. “We’ve already won the early vote — 1.2 million. We are ahead. If we can get 3 million people voting, this should be historic here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The race is tight.

A recent Emerson College/Nexstar poll had Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Youngkin each at 48%.

The poll surveyed 875 very likely Virginia voters between Oct. 22-23, and carried an error margin of +/-3.2%.

On the eve of the election, the University of Virginia’s Crystal Ball elections forecaster also changed the status of the Virginia race from “Lean Democratic” to “Lean Republican.”

Early voting concluded on Saturday.

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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