VIENNA, Va. – U.S. Sen. George Allen appealed for votes Monday while Democratic challenger Jim Webb said the White House would wake up to an Election Day surprise as Virginia's close and fiercely contested Senate race entered its final hours.
Webb and Allen started at opposite sides of Virginia but their campaigns were to bring them to Hampton Roads and Richmond by day's end, with Webb scheduled to conclude his day in Alexandria with former President Bill Clinton.
In northern Virginia, Allen greeted morning commuters at the Vienna Metro station, but was immediately mobbed by reporters, as well as supporters and protesters whose shouting matches nearly drowned out his words.
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Allen urged supporters to turn out Tuesday and give him the edge in a race the polls suggested is knotted. "The world is controlled by those who show up," he said.
Among those in the crowd was anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who said she came to Virginia to support peace candidates -- including Webb.
At a later stop Monday at Norfolk International Airport, the son of the late legendary football coach George H. Allen was joined by his wife, Susan; Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia; and retired football greats David "Deacon" Jones and Roger Brown, who played for Allen's father; among others.
Allen noted Webb's later appearance with Clinton, "the man he (Webb) said ran the most corrupt administration in history."
"You can tell a lot about someone by those they keep company with," Allen told a packed roomful of supporters as he urged them to get out the vote. "I'd rather be with all of you all from Virginia than the folks he's hanging around with."
In Roanoke, about 150 supporters packed a firehouse to cheer on Webb, who made his final campaign swing with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and former Gov. Mark R. Warner, both popular Democrats.
"I have a strong feeling that on Wednesday morning the White House is going to wake up and look across at the Capitol dome and say, 'We got a problem,"' Webb told the cheering crowd.
Webb, a former Republican, has battled into contention after what appeared to be a runaway for Allen in late summer.
A Gallup Organization telephone survey of 711 voters, conducted Wednesday through Friday for USA Today, showed Allen up 49 percent to Webb's 46 percent. The sampling error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., in a poll published Saturday, showed Webb with 46 percent and Allen with 45 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The Mason-Dixon poll showed Allen ahead by 16 points in July.
"It is a very, very tight and competitive race," Kaine said. "We're all up here with smiles on our faces and a feeling of optimism but not complacency ... There's a lot of work to be done between now and 7 o'clock tomorrow night to seal the deal."