The focus of the presidential race shifts to Virginia, where President Barack Obama stumps today and tomorrow.
Here’s why Virginia -- with its 13 electoral votes -- is so important for Obama: A win there, plus in Colorado, enables him to surpass 270 electoral votes without winning Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Nevada.
But a loss there forces the president to MUST win either: 1) Florida; 2) Ohio; or 3) both of Iowa and Nevada to get to 270. And that’s assuming, of course, that Obama holds on to all the states John Kerry won in 2004.
Obama begins his day in Virginia with a campaign event in Virginia Beach at 12:45 p.m. He then heads to Hampton at 4:25 p.m., and concludes his day with a stop in Roanoke at 7:05 p.m.
Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) hold a press conference in Williamsburg, Va., (where the National Governors Association is meeting) to pre-but the president’s travel throughout the state. And don’t forget: In 2008, the vote margin in Virginia (53%-46%) identically matched the national margin (53%-46%).
Playing Defense on Defense Spending?
In advance of Obama’s swing through Virginia today -- especially its military-heavy presence near Virginia Beach -- the Romney campaign and Republicans are trying to make Obama play defense over the looming defense cuts as part of last year’s budget deal. (Remember, of course, that Republicans insisted that defense cuts -- and not increased taxes -- be part of the “trigger” if the so-called Super Committee didn’t reach a deal on comprehensive deficit reduction.)
So yesterday, the Romney camp released this statement from Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli: “For President Obama to play budgetary Russian roulette with national defense is shameful. The damage to our local economy here in Virginia will be enormous.”
Added Gov. McDonnell: “The President has put our defense budget on course for radical cuts that even his own Secretary of Defense says will be ‘devastating’ to U.S. national security.”