Just a couple of hours before Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell , local supporters of Barack Obama opened the president's 37th campaign office in Virginia.
The grand opening of the office at 14260-P Centreville Square demonstrated how both candidates view a win in Virginia as critical to their campaigns.
"We win Virginia — which we will do — it almost makes it virtually impossible for Mitt Romney to get 270 electoral votes," said Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "So you have a battleground, folks. Fairfax County, a key battleground. A key battleground right here in Centreville. So what happens here determines who the next president of the United States will be."
Fairfax County overwhelmingly voted for Obama during the 2008 election, at about 60 percent of the vote. Virginia also voted for Obama in 2008, but the state was once considered more solidly Republican.
It is now a hotly contested swing state, and both candidates are vying hard for Northern Virginia votes. In July, . A couple months ago, .
"Sully typically has been a little bit lower performing, but this looks good," said Cesar del Aguila, chair of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, regarding the attendance. "The timing is really good; with the Republicans having their convention, I think people are really energized."
About 80 people checked in at the grand opening Tuesday evening, organizers said. Those present included State Sen. Dave Marsden, who also addressed the crowd, and Madeline Stoddart, 24, a Falls Church resident and a field organizer for the campaign. Stoddart said that she supported the president because her teenage brother has autism.
"Up until the Affordable Care Act was passed, my brother was uninsurable. Autism was decided decades ago to be a preexisting condition that could remove health care," Stoddart said.
"Let's turn Sully blue," she said.