WOODBRIDGE, Va. — With less than 45 day to go before Election Day, both candidates for Virginia's 7th Congressional District were on the campaign trail in Prince William County as soon as early voting began across the state.
Democrat incumbent, Abigail Spanberger, was in Woodbridge at an early voting rally, while Republican challenger, Yesli Vega, was in Triangle, Virginia. Both candidates were looking to fire up their supporters to vote in the midterm election.
Spanberger, a former CIA case officer who was elected as a moderate in 2018, was looking to tout her voting record in Congress.
"The legislation that has been signed into law to bring technology back home to the United States," she said. "And to invest into our roads, our bridges, our infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
Her opponent, who serves on the Prince William Board of Supervisors, is looking to capitalize on the recent GOP wins in Virginia, following Gov. Glenn Youngkin's victory in 2021.
"We started a movement here in the Commonwealth last year where we said that parents absolutely mattered," Vega said to the crowd. "And we made a statement. Did we not?"
Historically midterms have spelled trouble for lawmakers in the president's party, which is especially true when the president's approval rating is low. According to FiveThirtyEight, which tracks presidential approval ratings, Joe Biden's approval rating sits at 42.7% as of Sept. 26.
Vega has tried to keep the focus on the economy, with inflation soaring at 8.3% in August.
"Groceries, gas, everything costs more," she said in a recent television campaign ad. "And yet politicians in Congress ignore the problem."
Abortion access could also prove to be a major factor in this race. With the overturning of Roe V. Wade in June, the Spanberger campaign has tried to re-direct focus to this issue.
"Yesli Vega cheered the Supreme Court opinion on Roe V. Wade," she said in one of her ads, being aired regularly on TV.
Abortion access is set to become an even more pressing issue, after Sen. Lindsay Graham proposed a bill to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Our team asked both candidates about their policies on abortion on Saturday. Spanberger called the difference between the two candidates' positions "stark."
"The contrast between my opponents opinion on abortion and mine couldn’t be starker," Spanberger said. "I support a woman’s right to choose. I do not think that as an elected official I have the right to dictate the chooses a woman makes about her body.”
Vega responded that she will remain committed to a anti-abortion platform.
"I’m pro-life," she said. "I always have been, and always will be. As a law enforcement officer, I’ve stood up for the defenseless, the voiceless – and I will continue to do so in every way I can.”
Election Day is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 8. More details on how to vote early, or register to vote in Virginia, can be found here.