Last month, the Latino Victory Fund released an utterly disgraceful ad depicting an Ed Gillespie supporter in a pickup truck running down minority children. The ad was pulled following the truck attack in New York City, but it may have done quite a bit of damage to Democrat Ralph Northam's campaign. According to the Washington Post, Republican voters specifically cited that advertisement as for why they came out to vote for Gillespie on Tuesday.
Our reporters at polls in NoVa have talked to a few Republican voters who say the Latino Victory Fund ad factored large in their vote— Fenit Nirappil (@FenitN) November 7, 2017
“It played into the common refrain from the left that the right is evil” Robert Kinsler, a 33-year-old Alexandria business owner, told me— Fenit Nirappil (@FenitN) November 7, 2017
I mean, they're not wrong. That ad was completely uncalled for and was ugly, even for today's political climate. Most Virginians are good people who are rational thinkers who recognized that this kind of rhetoric is completely false. Gillespie did everything correctly following the horrible events in Charlottesville--he immediately denounced the rally and called it "evil." He did not endorse it or even use coded language to try to signal any sort of support, and to try to connect him to that is dishonest and wrong.
Obviously, the plural of anecdotes is not "data." But when the polls close tonight, it will be interesting to see who emerges victorious from one of the more contentious gubernatorial races in recent memory.