Rural Virginian: The Only Time I've Seen Ralph Northam Is at Christmas

Posted: Oct 27, 2017 2:30 PM

Rural Virginians are wondering where the lieutenant governor is. In a new ad released two weeks before Election Day, voters share how Northam has barely visited their region.

“I’ve only seen Ralph Northam in this area last year for the Christmas parade,” Anne from Waynesboro explained. "Otherwise I haven't seen him in the area."

“Ralph Northam’s never been in this county,” said another voter from Grundy, VA.

In addition to alienating voters in southwest Virginia, Northam is getting criticized for his record on voting in favor of sanctuary cities - an issue item that appears to be gaining Republican Ed Gillespie some ground in the late stages of the campaign. After President Trump tweeted that Northam was "fighting for" the violent MS-13 gangs, the Gillespie campaign hammered that narrative home. It's resonating with voters, especially considering how prevalent the group is even in wealthy Virginia counties.

Northam is also dealing with a couple of race-based controversies. Earlier this month, voters were outraged when his campaign removed Justin Fairfax, an African-American candidate for lieutenant governor, from some of their mailings. In lieu of an apology, the campaign explained the omission was made because a labor union had not yet endorsed him. 

Then, this week, Virginia Democrats published another insensitive piece of campaign literature, in which Republican Lolita Mancheno-Smoak, an Ecuadorian-American running for delegate in Fairfax County, found that Democrats had compared her to a werewolf and a serial killer.

The pair of debacles can perhaps explain why Democrats released this desperate ad linking Gillespie to white nationalists.

RealClearPolitics still has Northam leading by an average of six points, but as Matt notes new polls suddenly show Gillespie ahead.