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No TV ads, no presidential visits: Virginia’s era as a swing state is over
RICHMOND — Barack Obama held the very last rally of his 2008 campaign in Virginia, the longtime Republican stronghold he flipped on his way to the White House.
Four years later, Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney made more visits and aired more television ads here than nearly anywhere else. And in 2016, President Trump staged rally after rally in the Old Dominion, while Hillary Clinton picked a Virginian as her running mate.
But Virginia isn’t getting the swing-state treatment this time around. Now Virginia seems to be getting the cold shoulder because it’s considered solidly blue.
Demographic trends — immigration and a population boom have been nudging the state into purple territory for years.
Former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe (D), who has helped promote Biden with virtual events, was skeptical of Trump’s efforts in Virginia.
“The only ground game he’s got going on is 18 holes on the golf course,” McAuliffe quipped.
Governor Northam said his party has used its newfound power in Richmond in ways that should reflect well on Biden. Virginians, I think, are really looking for leaders that will deliver and will take action,” he said, noting legislation Democrats passed to expand access to health care, restrict guns.
"I think Trump can still win the presidential election,” said Tucker Martin, a Richmond-based consultant who has advised Republicans and has been critical of Trump. “But I don’t think Virginia will be part of their path to victory."