And so begins the full court press.
Republicans are launching a massive statewide final push ahead of Tuesday’s election, with candidates, surrogates and volunteers storming the state to make their final case for Virginia’s 13 electoral votes and open U.S. Senate seat.
On the heels of three stops in the state Thursday, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will return Sunday evening for a rally in Newport News, and two more Monday in Lynchburg and Fairfax.
His running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, will hold an event Saturday afternoon at Richmond International Airport with U.S. Senate candidate George Allen and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th.
Meantime, Republicans will dispatch an army of high-profile surrogates to every corner of the state.
Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham will make multiple stops on behalf of the GOP ticket on Saturday, holding a rally in Charlottesville and being joined by former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and Cindy McCain at the Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Virginia Beach GOP offices.
Tagg and Ben Romney will hold events in Fairfax, Sterling, and Staunton on Sunday and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and former Sen. Rick Santorum will make a swing through Southwest Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley on Monday, with stops in Abingdon, Blacksburg, and Harrisonburg.
A Romney campaign bus will make numerous stops at local Republican offices and victory centers for get-out-the-vote events throughout the weekend. Allen, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Rep. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st, Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-9th, and Virginia Victory Chairman Pete Snyder will all make appearances aboard the bus.
President Barack Obama’s campaign has not released a full schedule of pre-election events yet. But First Lady Michelle Obama is campaigning in Chesterfield County today, and on Saturday, Dave Matthews and former President Bill Clinton will join the president for a rally in Prince William County.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has stumped in the state this week for the Democratic ticket, and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will campaign in the state on Monday.
UPDATE: We’ve learned more about the Obama campaign’s weekend events. Albright will kick off canvasses and speak with Obama campaign staff and volunteers on Saturday in Norfolk and Chesapeake and will join veterans to kick off a canvass in Virginia Beach.
U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine will kick off canvasses in Falls Church and Fredericksburg that same day, and reality TV star and former MTV host La La Vasquez and actor Michael Ealy will attend Norfolk State University’s homecoming football game.