Candidates Cross Virginia Pushing for Last Minute Votes
House and Senate candidates crisscrossed the commonwealth Tuesday, making last minute pleas to voters.
In the 5th District congressional race, Republican incumbent Rep. Robert Hurt is defending his record on Capitol Hill, while Democratic opponent, General John Douglass, is hoping for an upset Tuesday night. And in one of the tightest Senate races in the country, a very thin line divides former Virginia governors George Allen and Tim Kaine.
Tuesday morning, Hurt greeted Albemarle County voters heading into the polls at Hollymead Elementary with state Delegate Rob Bell. Hurt called the enthusiasm of voters on Election Day "refreshing."
The congressman is relying on a strong turnout across the district to win re-election in a race that didn't get the same kind of attention as his challenge to oust Tom Perriello back in 2010.
"Being the challenger is always quite different from being the incumbent," said Hurt. "Obviously, the race two years ago was one everyone in the country was watching. We haven't had that same level of interest from a national standpoint in this race."
For Douglass, a former assistant secretary of the Navy, the race has been an uphill battle. He started the day in Fauquier County; from there, he headed to Charlottesville stopping at Albemarle High School to greet potential supporters.
The map of the 5th District is different this go-around. It added Fauquier, Madison, and Rappahannock counties, which were part of Republican-controlled districts.
Though Douglass is not projected to win Tuesday night, Douglass says it will come down to, in his words, "people against money." He feels Hurt has spent a lot of money in what he describes as a negative campaign full of lies.
Hurt says he's confident voters in the 5th District will choose his message of job creation and balancing the budget.
Douglass is hoping the huge voter turnout will work in his favor. He says he is getting a lot of feedback from supporters, especially in the south side of the district, who say he will pull off an upset.
In the Senate race, the contest looks neck-and-neck in an average of the most recent polls. Real Clear Politics shows Democrat Tim Kaine with a less than 2 percent lead over Republican George Allen.
Both Allen and Kaine cast their ballots early Tuesday morning, and spent the day making the rounds at polling places.
The stakes are high for both sides. Kaine wants to maintain a Democratic presence alongside Senator Mark Warner. Allen, on the other hand, wants to take this seat back after losing it in 2006. A Republican victory could also help the GOP take a majority in the Senate.
Allen was optimistic, stating, "I think that Virginians recognize how momentous this election is. People are voting as if their futures depend on their decisions here in Virginia, and indeed they're right."
Virginia is one of the closer Senate races in the country and the most expensive Senate race too. All said, the campaigns and outside sources have spent almost $80 million to get one of the two men elected.
Now, it's a waiting game. Hurt will watch returns at the Chatham Community Center, and Douglass will be at the Main Street Arena in Charlottesville. Kaine and Allen will both be at hotels in Richmond.
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Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science.Full Story
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story