BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland’s gubernatorial candidates start the week with some big name campaigning. President Barack Obama came in for Anthony Brown on Sunday and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was here for Larry Hogan Tuesday.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on what those visits say about this race.

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Early voting starts Thursday so the get-out-the-vote campaigns are gathering steam.

The Republican Governors Association, chaired by Chris Christie, is smelling blood.

“You can see that the Democratic power structure in this country all rushing to Maryland now. Why? They’re rushing here because they know Larry Hogan’s got the momentum and they’re trying to stop it and I don’t think they’re going to be able to,” Christie said.

The election is just two weeks from today and the candidates for governor are criss–crossing the state with political headlines in tow.

President Barack Obama campaigned for Brown and said, “Give it up for Anthony Brown, your next governor.”

New Jersey governor and Republican Governors Association Chairman championed Larry Hogan.

“Let me just say this: I’m a mercenary in this job. I go to places where we can win,” Christie said.

Each hopes his party’s sweetheart can woo voters to the polls.

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“Voter turnout is considered crucial in a race that shows the Republican candidate polling within 10 points of the Democrat in a two-to-one Deocratic state.

Christie, a Republican, won in traditionally Democratic New Jersey.

“You’ll have all kinds of people in the last couple weeks of the race in a tough state like this demographically who will tell you that it can’t happen. I’m here to show people I’m living proof. It can not only happen once, it can happen twice,” Christie said.

President Obama urged Brown supporters not to let that happen.

“I believe the Republicans are patriots. I believe they love their country. They love their family but they are a broken record. They keep offering the same tired, worn-out theories,” Obama said.

“It’s all about what kind of job you do as a candidate and what kind of job you do as a governor. I have complete confidence in Larry,” Christie said.

Don’t be surprised if other big political names pop in between now and November 4.

Both candidates have events scheduled for the rest of the week.

This was Christie’s second visit to Maryland for Hogan. Former President Bill Clinton has campaigned here for Brown.

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