Democrats tried to avoid panic over Virginia’s governor’s race on the last day of early voting — in a blue state election that is suddenly too close to be held.
The Democratic Governors Association warned in a last-minute email that “Democrats are facing a catastrophe” referring to recent polls showing the party’s candidate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, trailing GOP newcomer Glenn Yongkin just days before the 11th. The tenth of November. 2 elections.
“We cannot allow the Republican Party to break the Democratic firewall in Virginia – because what happens there will lay the groundwork for 2022,” the letter continued.
The candidates’ plans to attack were clear during Saturday’s election campaign.
Capitalizing on parents’ simmering anger over school COVID policies and race-based curriculum battles for ground between independent voters and disaffected Democrats, Yongkin has drawn hundreds of supporters to a rally in Alexandria, one of the state’s bluest cities.
“This is about the values that Virginians cherish,” the Republican Reporters. “More people have said, ‘I’ve never voted Republican and I’m voting for you.’ We have people streaming down the aisle.”
Meanwhile, McAuliffe tried to bolster his base in Norfolk, where just 40 people attended a rally led by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine.
McAuliffe reassured the scattered crowd: “As of this morning, we’ve got over a million early votes.” “We are way ahead of the early voting.”
But with a long history of high Republican turnout on Election Day, a stark gap of enthusiasm between the two parties looms large.
President Biden won the Old Dominion in 2020 by a comfortable 10-point margin, thanks in large part to the densely populated and strong Democratic counties that hug state borders with Washington, D.C.
His victory capped 16 consecutive years for Democrats there. A Republican presidential candidate has not controlled Virginia since 2004.
McAuliffe, a longtime Democratic insider who was close to Bill and Hillary Clinton and served as Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018, once looked like a candidate for a second term.
But Biden is too steep Low approval rate It has weakened the democratic base. A Washington Post poll this week found that 42 percent of Virginia voters strongly disapprove of the president’s performance — while only 21 percent strongly agree. This unbalanced result usually translates into a strong turnout for the opposition party.
Yongkin’s campaign has seized upon McAuliffe’s slips—particularly his September comment, “I don’t think parents should tell schools what they should teach”—as prime examples of the Democrat’s distance from voter fears.
School board meetings in Democratic strongholds in Fairfax County and Loudoun made national headlines, as parents protested against policies they say indoctrinate their children with the principles of critical race theory.
Youngkin scored an eight-point advantage over McAuliffe among likely voters in a Fox News poll Thursday that showed the Republican with a 53-45 lead. Other polls this week have indicated that the two are volatile.