Campaign Rallies Roll Into Central Virginia, Residents React

Lynchburg, VA - Political rallies are fast becoming a pastime for Central Virginians. In the next few days, Bill Clinton will be in town as will Mitt Romney.

Romney just visited Roanoke County Thursday, and Vice President Joe Biden was in Lynchburg Saturday. But why here, why now?

This is Romney-friendly territory, so why all the rallies? That's because Election 2012 is about getting people excited and getting them out to the polls. One political expert says every vote really does count this Tuesday. Still, we found some voters not used to the attention.

Friday, we stopped by Lynchburg's Pancake Jamboree to talk politics.

"Finally, I told one, 'We just wished you'd leave us alone.' That's how tired we are of it," said Matthew Burns.

For Burns, all the robocalls and all the rallies are too much. Romney visits Lynchburg Monday. Clinton's in Roanoke Saturday. Burns wants the political chatter to quiet down.

"It's the same every time. People saying, 'I'll be glad when this election is over,'" said Burns.

"What do you think of so many coming to our area?" we asked Ed Bolen. "It's the first time I can remember such a thing," he said.

It's only the second time in recent history Virginia's been a fierce battleground.

"The outcome in the state, it's going to be so close. They aren't sure," said Steve Bragaw, political science professor, Sweet Briar College.

For Political Science Professor Steve Bragaw, political rallies make a difference because they draw the die-hard fans.

"In the sports equivalent, they are the people who fly the flag for the Packers in July," said Bragaw.

Just like a sports team, the merchandise matters too. At rallies, fans pick up posters and buttons and spread the political message around town. Bill Clinton's visit is a big help spreading the democrat's message.

"Watching Bill Clinton on the stump now, it's like watching Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney perform - they are past their prime, but they are still better than most of the other people who are the 'stars,'" said Bragaw.

Bragaw says Romney doesn't have a superstar like a Bill Clinton. But Romney also doesn't need it. Because he is the challenger in Election 2012.

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