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Obama Jumps Into Key Virginia Legislative Races

Former President Barack Obama is wading into Virginia’s elections, lending significant national starpower to Democrats ahead of next week’s crucial bellwether legislative contests.

Obama recorded two robocalls, obtained first by POLITICO, that will be sent to over 100,000 households in key battleground districts between now and the election next week. The calls are being sent through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the party’s main redistricting organization that is run by Eric Holder, Obama’s former attorney general.

Obama recorded a pair of similar robocalls: one that will start going out on Thursday encouraging voters to cast their vote early, and a second that will go out on Election Day pushing voters to head to the polls on Nov. 7.

The calls are fairly generic turnout messages, urging voters to cast their ballot without focusing on any particular policy issue — like abortion, which Virginia Democrats have centered their campaign on.

“The people we elect in the state Senate and House of Delegates will make decisions that affect your everyday life,” he says in the Election Day call. “Now is the time to make our voices heard.”

Virginia currently has a divided legislature, with Democrats having a narrow majority in the state Senate and Republicans a small advantage in the state House.

All 140 of the legislature’s seats are up for reelection next Tuesday. Both parties believe that they have viable paths to controlling both chambers, and there are roughly a dozen-and-a-half battleground districts between the two chambers.

This year’s contests are the first election after the decennial redistricting process.

Should Republicans win both chambers, they will have unified control of Virginia’s government for at least two years.

GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin isn’t on the ballot this year, but his team has invested heavily into the legislative races. He has been encouraging Republicans to overcome Trump-driven resistance to early voting and vote before Election Day this year, and has also led a GOP strategy to try to attack Democrats on abortion.