DANVILLE, Va. — Republican Ken Cuccinelli on Tuesday said out-of-state figures such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were trying to overpower his supporters, pointing to an advertising landscape that has left him at a 2-to-1 disadvantage.
Bloomberg, an advocate for tougher gun control laws, is spending $1.1 million on anti-Cuccinelli ads that brand him as “too extreme,” adding to a crowded television rotation that is packed with political messages. At the same time, environmentalist Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action has spent almost $2.3 million on ads supporting Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe also is preparing to campaign this weekend with former President Bill Clinton, another potent figure in politics.
“On the other side, all they can do is to lob negative attacks. I’m sure you’ve seen them. If you own a television, you know we’re being outspent. If you don’t, my opponent will buy you one if you vote for him,” Cuccinelli told an afternoon gathering of supporters in Virginia’s Southside.
McAuliffe again had no public events on his schedule but a spokesman criticized Cuccinelli’s rhetoric.
“Virginians are making it clear that they prefer Terry McAuliffe’s mainstream focus on strengthening and diversifying the economy to Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme ideological agenda,” Josh Schwerin said.
Cuccinelli trails McAuliffe in campaign spending and polls. He has roughly kept pace on in-state donations, but out-of-state donors and activists have left Cuccinelli at a disadvantage with little time to make up lost ground.
He is spending time here in the reliably conservative southern tier of the state ahead of Thursday’s debate, which could be the final head-to-head conversation between the two before the Nov. 5 election. And he is turning to his own out-of-state supporters for boosts: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky all plan to lend a hand in coming days.
“We really need a hard push here in the last two weeks. It’s going to be a low-turnout election,” Cuccinelli said. “If Virginians are going to decide this race, Virginians need to show up.”
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