On the key issues facing Virginians – sequestration, energy policy and the economy – Forbes and McDonnell said they agreed Romney has an edge.
Forbes said Virginians “believe that the president has been literally dismantling the greatest military the world has ever known.”
“Virginians believe strongly in that military and believe strongly in that national defense,” Forbes said. “One of the things that we know through all the spin and all the ads that we’ve seen on TV is that had Mitt Romney been president of the United States, sequestration would never have become the law, because he never would have signed it. This president signed it, and this president has put nothing out to change it, and this president has said he’ll veto anything that comes up to change it. The only way Virginians stop sequestration is to elect a new president, and I think that’s what they’re going to do tomorrow.”
McDonnell added that he thinks recent reports of Obama’s plans for anti-coal EPA regulations after the election will “absolutely” factor into Virginians’ voting decisions at the last minute, “especially in Southwest Virginia [where there are coal mines] and in Hampton Roads, where we got the largest coal exporting port in the world.”
“This is a devastating issue for the president – they [the Obama administration] have literally tried to keep their campaign promise to bankrupt the coal industry,” McDonnell said. “To build new plants or to get new permits is getting harder and harder.”
Both McDonnell and Forbes added they think this campaign has shown that Obama can’t live up to his 2008 promises of “hope and change.”
“I think the president came into office with a great opportunity, and he ran a very, very good campaign on ‘hope and change’ in ’08, and it was an uplifting, positive message,” McDonnell said. “But I think the kind of campaign he’s run this year has been really a small-ball election about Romney’s tax returns.”
“I think people are noticing that [Obama’s negative campaigning this time around as opposed to his positive campaigning in 2008],” Forbes added. “I think even people in his own party are noticing that. This has been the most partisan president we’ve had in my lifetime. If he’s re-elected, he will continue this divisive situation of separating and dividing America. That’s the way he has operated ever since he came into office. I just think you’ve seen it in their mannerisms, you’ve seen it in the way they’ve tried to sledge legislation through without getting any kind of cooperation across the aisle.”
Both Obama and Romney have put last-minute emphasis on Virginia – and the latest Real Clear Politics polling average gives Obama less than half a point advantage in the state. A Rasmussen Reports poll released Sunday, however, had Romney up by two points.