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Stacey Abrams speaks during a Souls to the Polls rally supporting Terry McAuliffe on Oct. 17. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Top Democrats came out to campaign for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Sunday across many of the state's Black churches, emphasizing the importance of the upcoming Nov. 2 election.

Driving the news: Stacey Abrams visited three Black churches Sunday on behalf of McAuliffe, and framed the election as a bellwether for the 2022 midterms, AP reported.

  • “What you say in 2021 will show the world who we are in 2022 and 2024 and beyond," Abrams said.

The big picture: McAuliffe spent Sunday engaged in a "Souls to the Polls" series of church visits aimed at encouraging voter turnout.

  • In addition to Abrams, Vice President Kamala Harris addressed more than 300 Black churches across Virginia in a video message aired during morning services, saying McAuliffe "is the leader Virginia needs at this moment," per CNN.
  • First lady Jill Biden campaigned for McAuliffe on Friday, and President Biden is expected to visit the state as well, according to AP.
  • Former President Barack Obama will join McAuliffe at a campaign event on Oct. 23, per ABC News.

Go deeper

Beto O'Rourke declines to say whether he wants Biden to campaign for him

Former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who announced his bid for governor of Texas earlier this month, declined during a television appearance on Sunday to say whether he wants President Biden to campaign with him.

Driving the news: O'Rourke sidestepped questions from CNN "State of the Union" host Dana Bash about the matter, saying instead that the campaign is not about "anyone from outside of our state," and that "this is going to be about the people of Texas."

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 16 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.