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Obama, McCain Targeting Virginia

Washington Post editors

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are planning today to reach out to voters in Northern Virginia, with the Illinois Democrat in a town hall meeting in Fairfax this afternoon and the Arizona Republican in a telephone conference with independents and moderates this evening.

The events underscore the importance of Virginia in the fall election. Though the state has supported the Republican nominee for president for the past four decades, Democrats are optimistic that Obama can carry it this year in part because of a demographic shift in Northern Virginia.

Hundreds lined up this morning outside Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County to hear Obama discuss the economy, women and family in his second visit to the region since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee in June. His first visit was in June to Nissan Pavilion in Prince William County.

Obama has been seeking to reach out to women voters after defeating Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the primary, alienating some of her older white female supporters. But many who showed up to see Obama speak said he had little to worry about.

"See the color of my hair? See the color of my skin? See how old I am?" said Carole Richard, 76, a retired gerontologist from Fairfax. "Obama is a breath of fresh air."

Several female McCain supporters are scheduled to address journalists shortly after Obama's meeting and just hours before the candidate is scheduled to speak to Northern Virginia residents by phone in a "tele-town hall meeting."

Gail Gitcho, a McCain campaign spokeswoman, said the candidate will be fighting hard in Virginia.

"I think it's widely known that Virginia is going to be an important state for both campaigns," she said. "We're going to run like we're 10 points behind."

By Washington Post editors  |  July 10, 2008; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  Sandhya Somashekhar  
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I'm a registered Virginia voter and tonight some McCain campaign lackey called asking for my participation in his so-called town-hall style meeting via telephone conference. I've no idea how this person got my number, which isn't listed, or why she thought I was even a Republican, which I'm not. Okay, so I held the phone to my ear and listened to him ramble on for several minutes. Then someone picked up the line, said two words to me---and they weren't Merry Christmas!---then slammed down the phone.

Nice touch, McCain. One more reason you should lose this election.

Posted by: R. C. Scott | July 10, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

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