RICHMOND - When you're the governor of a battleground state, you carry an extra burden - how to make sure your candidate carries the state and whether he does or doesn't is a reflection on you.
Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell is feeling the heat.
'Ultimately, it's the Romney-Ryan campaign and I believe in them as the top Republican elected official in this state. So of course I feel some self-imposed pressure to deliver our state, ' says McDonnell.
Whenever Mitt Romney comes to Virginia, McDonnell hits the campaign trail, too, to stand with him.Recently, he welcomed 2,800 supporters at a Virginia Beach Romney rally. When Romney announcedRep. Paul Ryan as his running mate in August in Norfolk, McDonnell traveled with the GOP ticket to two other Virginia stops that same day.
McDonnell has campaigned with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in Portsmouth and has held press conferences and conference calls across the state.
McDonnell says what makes Virginia a battleground is its high number of independents - he estimates at 30% of the electorate.
'That really is the ballgame in Virginia. It's the independent mind of voters, especially in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.'
His challenge is the tricky balance of trying to pin a shaky economy on President Barack Obama in a state where unemployment is under six percent. When asked if the president deserves credit for how well we're doing, McDonnell commends him for killing Osama bin Laden and education reforms. He even has some praise for the very unpopular stimulus plan.
'Three years ago, some of the money we got helped us for a year in not having to make additional cuts, but I don't think it did anything for economic development. I've been clear on that.'