The race for battleground Virginia heats up

Presidential candidates are paying more attention to what they are wearing and voters are too. (AP/WTOP)
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wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 2:48 pm

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Alicia Lozano,

WASHINGTON – With less than a week to go before the presidential election, both candidates are making last ditch efforts in key battleground states like Virginia. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is campaigning there Thursday, and President Barack Obama will make appearances Saturday.

Strategists from both sides talked to WTOP Thursday morning and both sounded optimistic about their candidates’ chances in the Old Dominion.

“It’s going to be close in Virginia, but I feel pretty good about where we are,” said Robert Gibbs, senior Obama campaign adviser. “Our voters are energized and excited.”

Republican strategist Bob Rusbuldt said Romney might have a tough time in the cities, but expects he will surge ahead in the suburbs.

“It’s much more about getting out the vote,” he said. “It boggles my mind some people can still be undecided in this race, but apparently there are a few.”

In 2008, Virginia broke with tradition and went to Obama, marking the first time a Democrat won in that state since President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Rusbuldt doesn’t anticipate this will happen again.

“We are much better positioned than [John] McCain was four years ago,” he said. “Romney has a very good chance of winning the popular vote.”

Gibbs said Democrats won’t be playing it safe. Expect to see Obama in Virginia a few more times before Election Day, he said.

For more, listen to the full WTOP interviews.

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