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Statewide candidates make final push toward Democratic primary

The first televised debate of Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary started out tame...
The first televised debate of Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary started out tame Tuesday evening, with almost 25 minutes of civil discussion about how the five candidates onstage plan to lead the state out of it.(Virginia State University)
Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 9:02 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Former Governor Terry McAuliffe visited Lynchburg Grows and Diamond Cuts, during an afternoon swing through the Hill City Friday afternoon.

He toured greenhouses at the non-profit and sat down for a haircut at the barbershop.

“I feel good, but I run through the tape,” McAuliffe said about the final miles of a marathon primary campaign. “There’s no walking, there’s no sleeping here. Run through that tape.”

A new poll from Roanoke College confirms his status as the frontrunner.

“When you see someone polling close to 50%, even in a two-way race, it’s difficult to beat that person,” said Roanoke College Poll Director Harry Wilson. “And when you’re talking about a five-way race, it’s much more difficult to defeat them.”

But McAuliffe’s opponents aren’t conceding anything.

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy rallied supporters in northern Virginia. Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax campaigned in Tidewater. Sen. Jennifer McClellan scheduled events in the Richmond area. And Del. Lee Carter continued to reach out virtually.

Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton says the election will hinge on which segments of the Democratic party turn out on Tuesday.

“Is it the progressives and the younger members of the party trying to move the party a little bit more to the left,” he said. “Is it the African Americans, which candidates they will support? And at the same time, the more traditional middle-aged people who tend to vote in primaries.”

Other statewide candidates are still running hard. Del. Sam Rasoul, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, launched a statewide series of canvassing events in Roanoke Friday afternoon.

And the Republican candidates for statewide office aren’t ceding the spotlight to the Democrats. The GOP ticket is campaigning across the state on Saturday, with a stop on the southside.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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