President Obama will lend a helping hand to an embattled star of the progressive movement in the House, TPM has learned. On Friday, Obama will stump for Rep. Tom Perriello, the first-term Democrat from Virginia’s 5th Congressional district who’s facing tough competition from Republicans eager to take back his Charlottesville-area seat.
A Democratic source speaking on background called the Obama visit “big” and said the VA-05 race is “still close.”
The TPM Poll Average shows Hurt leading the race with 47.6% of the vote and Perriello running a close second with 43.5% support. Third-party conservative candidate Jeffrey Clark draws 2.7% support.
More information on Friday’s event, from the Charlottesville Daily Progress:
“Obama will appear at the Charlottesville Pavilion,” the paper reports. “Gates will open at 5 p.m.”
The Richmond Times Dispatch reports, “Perriello was elected by 727 votes in 2008 with Obama at the top of the ticket. He is trying to rally Democrats who turned out two years ago to do it again for him. A presidential visit could go a long way to that end.”
Late Update: Hurt’s campaign offered up its own take on Obama’s decision to stump for Perriello.
“We gladly welcome President Obama to the 5th District as he campaigns on behalf of his favorite Congressman, Tom Perriello. His visit will further solidify the idea in the minds of voters that Congressman Perriello has been nothing more than a lap dog for the job killing Obama-Pelosi agenda, representing their interests, not the interests of Central and Southside Virginians,” Hurt spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said.