The appearance will mark the second time that the president has campaigned in the state for McAuliffe, a longtime friend who held the state’s Executive Mansion from 2014 to 2018. Virginia prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms, and McAuliffe is only the second to seek a comeback since the Civil War.
Biden won Virginia by 10 points over President Donald Trump last year, but his approval in the state has plunged since the military’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, and as Biden has failed to get Democrats in Congress to advance his domestic agenda.
But even with the Democratic brand tarnished, McAuliffe has not shied away from appearing with Biden and the party’s biggest names in the one-time swing state, which turned solidly blue while Trump was in the White House. Former president Barack Obama will campaign with McAuliffe Saturday in Richmond.
Youngkin has had a much more complicated relationship with Trump, his party’s undisputed leader.