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Events likely to shape Virginia gubernatorial race

Sunday - 9/8/2013, 12:45pm  ET

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- In just two months, Virginia voters pick a new governor for the next four years. But as any candidate can tell you, two months can be an eternity in politics -- more than enough time for planned and unplanned events to radically change an election's direction.

The most recent polling indicates Democrat Terry McAuliffe has an edge over Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

But events outside the campaigns themselves can still alter the candidates' trajectory.

They include a September candidates' debate, the looming congressional fight over the nation's debt ceiling and more potential spending cuts, the start of enrollment for medical coverage through state insurance exchanges under the new federal health reform law, the October trial of Gov. Bob McDonnell's former executive mansion chef, and possible U.S. military strikes on Syria.

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