NORFOLK-Virginia’s gubernatorial race could have a national impact, say political observers.
The election could largely impact in the 2014 mid-term elections, and political observers say the party in charge of the governor's mansion could hold the keys to the White House in 2016.
On Sunday, November 3, just two days before the election, President Barack Obama will join Terry McAuliffe for a rally with supporters in Northern Virginia.
Former president Bill Clinton campaigned with McAuliffe in Hampton and Norfolk on Sunday and Monday, political observers say Clinton could be laying the ground work for a presidential bid for his wife, Hillary Clinton.
Similar presidential speculation surrounded Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign rally in Virginia Beach with Ken Cuccinelli on Monday.
"The suspicion is that this [Rand Paul] is somebody who's thinking about running for President, Virginia is a state that he's going to want to re-visit at various points in the future,” said Jesse Richman, a political professor at Old Dominion University.
Despite all the headlines, the high-profile visits from Clinton and Paul may have minimal impact on the outcome of the election.
"It's part of the campaign, it's an important element, but like all the other pieces of the campaign, none of them individually, unless there is some huge gaffe, determines what happens in the race," said Richman.
A Washington Post-Abt SRBI poll released Monday shows McAuliffe opening a 12 point lead over Cuccinelli ahead of the election on November 5th.