Obama pulls massive crowd in Richmond - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Obama pulls massive crowd in Richmond

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

We are closing in on Election Day and Virginia remains one of the most important states on the electoral map. Despite momentum for the Republican ticket, President Barack Obama showed Thursday that he is fighting to win Virginia for a second time.

If there was ever a time that President Obama needed to see a big crowd in Virginia, it was today, and Richmonders showed up in droves.

"Are you ready to go," he asked.

Roughly 15,000 people heard Mr. Obama make the case that he plans to win in Virginia.

"We'll win Richmond," he shouted to cheers. "We'll win the Commonwealth of Virginia. We'll win this election."

But with his opponent Mitt Romney surging in the polls, Virginia may be less important to an Obama strategy to get to 270 electoral votes - the number needed to win.

Republicans like Pete Snyder, the chair of the coordinated Virginia Victory 2012 group, claim the GOP is "all in" on a Virginia win.

"We have an entire state, if not country that is really hungry for economic change and path forward," Snyder said. "That is what they get in Romney/Ryan."

Thursday's crowd was filled with people like Melissa Paige. She arrived at 5 a.m. to see the president. Her enthusiasm may be one small indication that Democrats aren't ready to give away even one electoral vote from Virginia.

"Re-elections are always important," she said. "They are always going to be important."

Obama himself isn't giving up on anything either. He was in the midst of a 48-hour sprint across the country, and you could hear it in his voice. It was a little bit hoarse and he seemed just a little bit tired, but not giving any less in a final push to the finish.

"You know me. You know what I'm about," he said. "You know I say what I mean and I mean what I say."

And as Virginia voters decide if the like what they hear, the election hangs in the balance. There are only 12 days to go.

So just how close is the race in Virginia? Two new polls show different stories. One has President Obama up 5. The other has Mitt Romney winning by two. If you put all the recent polls together, the race is basically tied.

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