Vice President Kamala Harris encouraged a few hundred people in Prince William County, Virginia, at a campaign rally Thursday for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe to stay vigilant as the increasingly close race enters the home stretch.
“This race is tight,” she said while standing onstage near McAuliffe in the state’s oldest town of Dumfries. “We are not taking anything for granted.”
A poll released Wednesday by Monmouth University shows the race between McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin tied at 46% among registered voters ahead of the Nov. 2 election. McAuliffe held a five-point lead last month.
The biggest swing in the poll came from independents, who preferred Youngkin to McAuliffe 48% to 39% — a near-total reversal of the 46%-37% lead McAuliffe held among that bloc last month.
To help encourage those who haven’t utilized the early voting period, which ends Oct. 30, former President Barack Obama will rally for McAuliffe on Saturday at Virginia Commonwealth University.
McAuliffe announced Thursday that President Joe Biden will also visit the commonwealth Tuesday for a campaign event in Arlington. He also said the Dave Matthews Band and Virginia native Pharrell Williams will perform concerts.
“We got a lot of action here in the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said.
Before Harris spoke for nearly 12 minutes, some people in the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to the vice president, who turned 57 Wednesday.
“You know what I want for my birthday? I want this man to be elected the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia,” she said of McAuliffe.
Harris said McAuliffe will fight for women’s rights, voting rights, provide jobs and continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
McAuliffe also pledged that if elected, he would raise teacher pay above the minimum wage.
McAuliffe served as governor from 2014 to 2018, but Virginia law doesn’t allow candidates to serve two consecutive terms.
“When you elect somebody as governor, you want to make sure you know who they are,” Harris said. “We know who Terry is. That’s not a question in this race.”
Prior to the rally, more than a dozen supporters of former President Donald Trump stood along Graham Park Road in Dumfries holding several signs, with one reading, “Trump won.”
The Youngkin campaign didn’t respond to an email Wednesday and Thursday for comment.
Youngkin, a former CEO of the Carlye Group, received an endorsement from Trump, but hasn’t campaigned with him as he continues to make stops throughout Virginia.
As for McAuliffe supporters who attended Thursday’s rally, most of them said they voted early.
Adina Wells, who walked to Thursday’s rally from her home in Dumfries, has a message for voters who still haven’t cast a ballot.
“Vote for Terry McAuliffe if you want to get further along,” said Wells, one of the early voters. “Further along in pay raises, equal rights for women [and] immigration.”