Candidates call in national figures as Election Day approaches

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) The candidates in the Virginia Governor's race have called out some heavy hitters for the final innings of the campaign.

On Monday, former President George W. Bush attended a Richmond fundraiser for Republican Ed Gillespie, and on Thursday former President Barack Obama will rally supporters of Democrat Ralph Northam in the capital city.

Could those appearances make a difference in a race that appears to be getting tighter?

Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ Political Analyst Bob Denton says they could, as the campaigns try to motivate their base.

"Historically, Republicans need to get about 92 to 93 percent of self-identified Republicans," Denton said Wednesday morning, "and Democrats, because there are more Democrats in the Commonwealth, as long as they're hovering around 87 to 88 percent of getting the party vote, they tend to be successful."

"Bringing in the big guns is all about activating your party regulars," he said.

It remains to be seen if President Donald Trump will campaign for Gillespie in Virginia. He's already tweeted about the race, but it's unclear if a visit by the President would help or hurt the Republican candidate.