Tim Kaine plays the harmonica for a packed house at the Floyd Country Store during a campaign event last month in Floyd, Va.
American Crossroads, a GOP-aligned super PAC, is working to chop down Obama's small lead in the state. It launched a 30-second TV ad Wednesday, backed by a $1.1 million investment and running for 10 days, that attacks Obama on the economy and his health care law.
Allen senior strategist Dan Allen said Kaine "earned his title as chairman" by advocating for Obama's policies, and he indicated that will continue to be a major storyline in the race.
"A lot of the people who are going to decide this race are not looking favorably at what Washington has produced over the past several years or saying, 'Well, we want another four years of that,'" Dan Allen said. "That's what Tim Kaine is being a vocal champion of."
Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told reporters at the convention Tuesday that the DSCC is "going to hold George Allen accountable for his record as a Senator" and in many cases "treat him as if he were an incumbent." The DSCC has $8.1 million in fall TV time reserved in Virginia, and the NRSC has about $5.5 million reserved there so far.
"I think that if you look at the third-party ads, particularly on the Democratic side, we are unafraid to draw the contrast on debt, deficit, budget and spending in the comparison between Tim Kaine and George Allen, and we think we can actually win the argument there," Cecil said.
In response, National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh said Kaine "has been the No. 1 cheerleader in Washington for the Democrats' failed liberal agenda of reckless spending, bigger government and 43 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent. So if Democrats want to make this a race about each candidates' record, then by all means bring it on."
Kaine's convention speech wasn't a game-changing event, but his connection to the national party and its policies will play a role in which candidate wins the majority of sought-after independent voters. Still, Kaine said Tuesday morning that he'll continue to highlight the successes of both his tenure as governor and the president's record of accomplishments.
"We focus on the results, we get results and then people trust us and want to keep us in place," Kaine said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.