President Barack Obama will add his political magic to a competitive race that Democrats want to win.
In what’s slated to be his first campaign appearance since leaving the White House, President Obama will headline a rally in Richmond, Virginia on Oct. 19 for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, NBC News reports.
Liberals view Virginia’s high-profile governor race as a must-win, which could build momentum toward retaking Congress in the 2018 midterm election.
According to polls, Northam holds a small but steady lead over the GOP candidate Ed Gillespie.
Political analyst Bob Holsworth told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Northam must get out the Democratic base to win. While Northham holds a commanding 75 percent of the Black vote, about 18 percent of Black voters remain undecided and may pass on the election.
“Northam can’t have a situation where he’s underperforming with the African-American community and among young people,” he stated.
The Times-Dispatch reported that Northham “fired up a crowd” of supporters at a recent event when he announced that President Obama is scheduled to appear at his upcoming rally.
“President Barack Obama said that ‘I want to tell you how important Virginia is to me. It means the world to me. It means our legacy, for me and Michelle. I’m going to do everything that I can to come to Virginia to campaign for you,’” Northam told the crowd, according to the newspaper.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump endorsed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman. And Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to appear at a rally on Saturday for the Republican candidate.