WASHINGTON -- Less than two weeks before Virginia voters go to the polls, some national Republican starpower visited the all-important D.C. suburbs to give some heft to the GOP's efforts to take control of the state Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Democrats. While Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), an oft-mentioned potential vice presidential nominee, dodged questions about any possible endorsement in the ongoing battle for the Republican presidential nomination, he did praise former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) at an appearance in Fairfax County on Wednesday.According to The Huffington Post's Jon Ward:
The stakes are high in Virginia, which will be a key presidential battleground in 2012. Then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) beat U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Old Dominion in the 2008 elections. With the Virginia legislature so closely contested this time around -- Democrats control the Senate 22-18 -- the stakes are high going into the Nov. 8 elections. According to Fairfax City Patch:
"Gov. Romney gets it when it comes to free enterprise," McDonnell said, lauding Romney for having "a marvelous record of achievement at Bain capital ... creating wealth and jobs and opportunity for people."
Just as Tea Party activists are targeting Northern Virginia Democrats in television ads, the Democratic National Committee's Federal Fund gave $100,000 to Virginia Democrats for state Senate races earlier this month. And as the Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday:
Romney and McDonnell thanked volunteers and officials for their efforts in the 2009 election that netted the political party a Republican governor.
"Winning Fairfax County for the first time in 12 years, you can do that again here in 13 days, can't you?" he said. "We have a chance to make history for only the second time in 150 years by having a Virginia Republican governor and a Virginia Republican legislature."
According to Patch, Republican supporters and protesters lined Chain Bridge Road on the route to the Fairfax County GOP headquarters. More from Patch on the scene in Fairfax.
Not to be outdone, McDonnell, through his Opportunity Virginia PAC, gave $256,000 Monday to the state Republican Party. McDonnell's PAC has doled out nearly $700,000 since the last campaign finance reports came out Oct. 17. To date he's given nearly $3.5 million to the state party and GOP legislative candidates.
For in-depth looks at the 2011 Virginia elections community by community, check out Patch's voter guides.