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McAuliffe's lead giving hope to VA Democrats | Politics

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McAuliffe's lead giving hope to VA Democrats

ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA9) - Virginians will choose a new Governor in just five days. 

But with Democrat Terry McAuliffe consistently leading in polls, Democrats are giddy with the possibility of huge wins and Republicans are worried with dread.

Both sides agree that in this off-year, non-presidential election cycle, whichever side is more motivated to get its base to the polls wins the Governorship and possibly much more.

At stake are also the offices of Attorney General, Lt. Governor and the House of Delegates. Republicans in hotly contested races are nervous while their Democratic challengers are optimistic.

Take retired air force officer John Bell. He has taken leave of absence from job at Booze Allen to campaign for Delegate. He is knocking doors asking for votes and hoping to ride a Democratic tide on Tuesday.

"I'm feeling confident...I have a moderate message," said Bell.

He is challenging republican Del. David Ramadan in Loudoun County for his seat the House of Delegates. In a video recorded at a meeting with the pro-gun rights group Civil Defense League, Ramadan is seen explaining his stand saying, "Guns save lives...there should be no restrictions for law abiding citizens."

Those state delegate races may be directly affected by who comes out Election Day to vote for Governor and with Terry McAuliffe consistently ahead of Ken Cuccinelli in the polls, democrats are hoping to ride some coattails.

But there is a new dynamic that might rain of the Democrats' parade. The problems with the Affordable Care Act and President Obama are declining approval ratings.

Last weekend, McAuliffe pulled in star-power appeal campaigning with former President Bill Clinton. Former Republican Congressman Tom Davis says having Clinton by his side is a good move because of his high popularity. But having President Obama come in this coming weekend could be risky.

"Obama is a polarizing figure," says Davis, who pointed to the president's low approval ratings and the continuing problems with Obamacare.

Cuccinelli has turned the fiasco with the Affordable Care  Act into his biggest campaign issue at recent events.   But George Mason University political analyst Mark Rozell says for Virginians, more are still angry about the government shutdown than Obamacare, which is more of a national issue.

Rozell says the fact that Cuccinelli is trying to motivate his conservative core with the likes of Sen. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz means the Republican is not confident and struggling to get out his base.

McAuliffe also continues to out raise Cuccinelli. He has even sent a $500,000 from his campaign to the Democratic caucus to help other democrats in tight races like John Bell and Mark Herring who's running for Attorney General against Republican Mark Obenshain.

Still, the only poll that matters is the election on November 5th.