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OPINION
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Never Spike the Ball on the 5-Yard-Line

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

The finish line for the Virginia gubernatorial election is Tuesday night, not today or even Tuesday morning or afternoon, Tuesday night after the polls have closed and the votes have all been counted. Counted, by the way, in front of observers out in the open, with a full chain or custody for each batch of ballots known and seen by everyone. Once everything is done, then, and only then, can Republicans entertain the idea of an end zone dance, provided it works out.

Why warn anyone about this when polls are looking good for Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin? Because any Republican has to win by more votes than Democrats can cheat and make up the difference of. In other words, Republicans have to win by a margin that makes it impossible to steal, which in a state that went for Joe Biden by 10 points is a pretty difficult mountain to climb.

That being said, you can tell a lot about where the candidates are mentally and where this race stands by the tone of their actions (remember the black white supremacist?) and fundraising emails. 

On Wednesday, 44 minutes apart, I received emails from the Youngkin campaign and Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s. The subject line in Youngkin’s email was, “Poor Terry is scared.” For McAuliffe’s it was, “We desperately need your support.” 

“I am campaigning across the Commonwealth of Virginia, as a Virginian,” Youngkin’s email reads. “I am here to represent you and no one else, and I am going to work for every single Virginian. Our momentum continues to grow, but I need your help to continue to keep Terry McAuliffe on his toes.”

The tone of the email is positive, upbeat, but still urgent. It’s not over and they know it. It ends, “We are about to make a statement that will reverberate across this great country, and I hope you will join me. Let’s shout it from the rooftops. We can win this together.” That’s what you want in a favored underdog. 

McAuliffe, on the other hand, has the aura of false confidence. After all, this was his race to lose – a tap-in putt where a former Governor was running against a political novice in a state overrun with government employees where a corrupt, senile Democrat pulled 54 percent of the vote. The only way he could lose, the old saying goes, was to be caught with a live boy or a dead girl. He pulled the political equivalent. 

McAuliffe told parents to butt out of education, essentially to learn their place, that their children were wards of the state. It was something everyone knows about Democrats, but they never admit it. Terry said the stuff liberals laugh about in private out loud.

Unforced errors really are the only way a candidate can win a race they aren’t expected to. Well, that and when the opponent implodes. McAuliffe did both in one, and rather than admit he’d screwed up, eat some crow and move on, he spent nearly every day since his initial screw-up doubling down on it in an arrogant, unapologetic tone. It couldn’t have been handled worse for Democrats. When the rape in a school bathroom was confirmed, the wheels completely came off.

“Right now polls are tied,” McAuliffe’s email reads, “and one recent poll even shows Youngkin ahead! With so much on the line and the election days away, that’s not good enough, friend. That’s why I’m asking for your help.” It’s kind of like trying to sell tickets for the Titanic the day after is sank – who wants to give money to the “aw, shucks, sorry I suck” candidate?

Still, even with the wind at his back, this is an uphill climb for Youngkin. Everything that could be stacked against him is, and nothing is settled until it’s done. To anyone in Virginia who can vote, go do it now. Anyone living there from Chicago, do it now and often. Be optimistic, be hopeful, but never put anything past a Democrat. Do not count them as dead unless and until you’ve checked the body yourself. And watch everything they do the whole time, because if you give then an inch to cheat, they will. 

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter

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