Longtime DNC fundraising superstar and occasional shady “businessman” Terry McAuliffe has steadily courted the advantages of both a mega-wide gender gap as well as years of fundraising prowess in the Virginia gubernatorial race; we are now entering the final few weeks of the race, and McAuliffe is putting his BFF-status with the Clinton family to good use and moving to the seal the deal on those two fronts, via the LA Times:

Tapping California’s political donors, Hillary Rodham Clinton will later this month headline a Beverly Hills fundraiser for Virginia gubernatorial candidate and longtime family friend Terry McAuliffe.

The Oct. 30 luncheon, hosted by media mogul Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl, will cost $15,000 per person and $25,000 per couple, according to an invitation.

Clinton has largely skirted politics since stepping down as secretary of State in February, but of late has begun advocating for McAuliffe, who is a longtime confidant and fundraiser for Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton.

The worry of GreenTech-related scandal apparently having subsided, and with the obvious benefit of preemptively padding her own electoral path to victory in the event of a 2016 run, this Beverly Hills shindig will be in addition to one fundraiser she has already headlined for McAuliffe and another in NYC on Tuesday night, as well as some actual campaigning in the commonwealth over the coming weekend:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will formally endorse Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor, on Saturday in Falls Church.

Clinton will attend a “Women for Terry” event at The State Theatre. Among others attending the event will be Dorothy McAuliffe; Del. Charniele L. Herring, D-Alexandria, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia; and Leni Gonzalez, a member of Latinos Con Terry.

The former president oh-so-helpfully signed his name onto a fundraising email on McAuliffe’s behalf, too, just for good measure:

On Monday, the former president sent out a fundraising appeal asking for donations to help McAuliffe as well as Democratic candidates across the nation.

“Despite what you might hear from the media, the next election isn’t in 2016 or 2014. In Virginia, it’s just 22 days away, and there’s a lot on the line,” Bill Clinton wrote. “My close friend Terry McAuliffe is running for governor (he’ll be a great one!) against a guy who’s really out there.”

Apart from having friends in high (low?) places, the government shutdown (and its effect on Virginia’s many federal employees) seems to be working in McAuliffe’s general favor. Cuccinelli’s appeal to Congress to remove ObamaCare as a condition of reopening the government and to pass a short-term CR to end the shutdown earlier this month is being pretty roundly ignored as the Democrat’s campaign continues to try to insert vague ideas about Ken Cuccinelli and Ted Cruz secretly being the same person into the minds of Virginia voters, and a new poll from CNU suggests that the strategy has been a fruitful one:

A new poll by Christopher Newport University shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe holding a seven-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli II amid signs that backlash over the federal government shutdown is hurting Republicans more than Democrats. …

Among likely voters, McAuliffe has 46 percent support compared with Attorney General Cuccinelli’s 39 percent with three weeks to go before Election Day, according to the poll released Tuesday by CNU’s Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy. The poll found Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis with 11 percent support. …

Although most respondents said that neither candidate for governor bears responsibility for the standoff in the nation’s capital, among the 13 percent who do cast blame, 47 percent hold Cuccinelli responsible compared with 7 percent for McAuliffe, Kidd said. The poll found that likely voters who have been affected by the shutdown or who know someone who has been affected prefer McAuliffe to Cuccinelli by a margin of 49 percent to 34 percent.

The poll affirms the gender-gap tilt toward McAuliffe by 14 points, with McAuliffe receiving 51 percent of women’s votes and Cuccinelli receiving 37 percent, and given Ron Paul’s endorsement of Ken Cuccinelli last week, I think that in this case the relatively robust support for the third-party Libertarian candidate is probably more of an indication of just how unpalatable Virginians consider both candidates than anything else.