Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia and current Democratic candidate for the same office, is enlisting Stacey Abrams to help him campaign during the final weeks of what appears to be a narrowing race.
Abrams rose to prominence after she refused to concede upon losing the 2018 gubernatorial race.
Since then, she has become a major figure in Democratic media and politics. In the interim period between the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, her organizations registered almost one million new voters, most of them in the Atlanta suburbs.
Due to these efforts, Abrams has been credited with contributing to the election outcome in Georgia during last year’s presidential election cycle.
For now, McAuliffe and Abrams are scheduled for two events in the Old Dominion. The first is dubbed the “Souls to the Polls” event, which is an effort to reach out to Norfolk-area churches along the southeastern coast region. This area has a high black population and could be decisive if the election is close.
After that, the duo will campaign in Northern Virginia—another potentially crucial precinct.
Tightening polls, along with Abrams’ appearance in Virginia, suggest that the McAuliffe campaign is concerned about the race.
Maddie Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Republican Governors Association, said in a statement that this is more evidence that McAuliffe “thought he had the race won the moment he declared his candidacy … [and that] his team is asleep at the wheel.”
Much like former President Donald Trump, Abrams is a partisan lightning rod: her critics despise her and her fans adore her. It is clear that her appearance in the race is intended to spur Democratic turnout.
If recent polling is predictive and Independents do move sharply against Democrats, then Abrams will need to work overtime to push McAuliffe over the top.