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Midterms 2018: Obama makes last ditch attempt to win Democrat votes in Virginia with rousing rally speech

Andrew Buncombe
Washington DC
Monday 05 November 2018 23:34 GMT
Barack Obama: 'we have seen repeated attempts to divide us with rhetoric designed to make us angry and make us fearful'

Barack Obama is taking his star power to the campaign trail in a final push to get out the vote as Democrats seek to deliver a blow to Republicans and take control of at least one of the chambers of congress.

Having spent the weekend criss-criss-crossing the country and he exchanged barbs with his successor, Donald Trump, the 44th president made an eve of election day appearance in Fairfax, Virginia.

Speaking at the campaign office of senator Tim Kaine, Mr Obama said people had become disenchanted after his 2008 win and found that things did not “become perfect” overnight.

But he said that by electing people such as Mr Kaine and Jennifer Wexton, a Democratic candidate for congress, progress would be made.

“How we talk to each other gets better. Better is good. Better is a start,” he said. “When you do that everything is going to shine.”

Appearing over the weekend in Indiana and Illinois, Mr Obama attacked Republicans for “blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying” about their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions. He also accused Trump of stoking fear over a group of migrants headed towards the US-Mexico border.

“America is at a crossroads. The character of our country is on the ballot,” he said.

This is how his appearance played out

Please allow a moment for the liveblog to load


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Barack Obama on the campaign trail in Virginia.

Lucy Anna Gray5 November 2018 15:50

The former president has been on the campaign trail for the Democrats ahead of this year's midterm elections. 

Obama spoke at a rally in Gary, Indiana, yesterday while campaigning for Senator Joe Donnelly. In the speech Obama branded the Trump administration and Republicans in control of the Senate and House of Representatives as corrupt.

"All right, so now they've had two years of total control in Washington, what have they done with that power? ... They haven't done nothing. They've done something. They promised they were going to take on corruption in Washington. Instead, they've racked up enough indictments to field a football team."

He then added: "Nobody in my administration got indicted, which, by the way, is not that high a bar."

Lucy Anna Gray5 November 2018 16:00

Donald Trump’s approval rating has been historically low during his presidency but has bumped up in recent weeks. CNN suggests the president’s approval rating stands as 41 points, other put it higher, while some polls place is even lower. Barack Obama’s was at around 45 per cent at this stage in 2010. In the 2010 midterms, the Democrats went on to lose the House and the Senate.

Lucy Anna Gray5 November 2018 16:07

As Barack Obama campaigns in Virginia, voters in Georgia have been receiving racist and anti-semitic automated phone calls ahead of the midterm elections which will see Democrat Stacey Abrams attempt to become the US state's first black governor. 

Read more here: 

Lucy Anna Gray5 November 2018 16:16

Rallies held by both sides are taking place across America today as the parties attempt to cement support from key states ahead of tomorrow's vote. 

Here are five key states to look out for in this year's midterm elections:

Lucy Anna Gray5 November 2018 16:29

Welcome to Washington DC, where a damp morning is giving way to brighter weather and where, to put it mildly, people are going a little crazy about tomorrow's vote

Andrew Buncombe5 November 2018 16:37

Both Mr Trump and Mr Obama are hitting the campaign trail today; indeed, Mr Trump has three planned events: 

Andrew Buncombe5 November 2018 16:38

The latest tweet from President Donald Trump....

Lucy Anna Gray5 November 2018 16:41
Andrew Buncombe5 November 2018 16:55

Meanwhile, hard to tell whether Mr Trump is angry, happy or just his normal self

Andrew Buncombe5 November 2018 16:58

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