Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims, y’all need to run because white people are coming. They all drive pick-up trucks. They all have Confederate flags on their cars—and they all want to run you down when they see you walking on the street because in Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie’s America, this will happen to you. That’s the ad Latino Victory pushed out as time begins to run out in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
Christine wrote about this earlier today. If there was ever a textbooks example of ‘bulls**t on a stick,’ this is it. If Democratic candidate Ralph Northam and his allies were comfortable about clinching a win in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, they wouldn’t push this out. Also, Northam himself has pushed out mailers linking Republican Gillespie to white nationalism and the horrific protests in Charlottesville. The Virginia press, who noted that Gillespie has done all the right things concerning issuing condemnation of the white supremacist groups that descended into the state last August, has criticized these mailers, with the Richmond Times-Dispatch saying they’re “practically libel.” The Daily Progress, a Charlottesville-based paper, slammed Virginia Democrats for using their pain to score political points, calling the whole event“stomach-turning.” So, what’s going on? Why the deep dive into paranoia and nonsense, besides the simple fact that this is the new way Democrats behave post-2016? Maybe it’s because Northam has been very low energy in Northern Virginia, an area where he has to maximize turnout. So far, the hyper-liberal base here has noted that Northam has yet to deliver a shot of adrenaline in campaign efforts in this region, so I guess that’s when the decision was made to scare the hell out of the minorities to make sure they vote Northam (via NYT) [emphasis mine]:
In the past decade, expansive growth has added hundreds of thousands of new residents to the region just outside Washington, making some Northern Virginia counties the fastest growing in the state and the wealthiest in the nation. Among those newcomers are a broad spectrum of Latinos, Arabs and South Asians like Mr. Iyer who are a major reason for Virginia’s steady march toward the Democratic Party.
But with a week and a half to go in the campaign, lack of engagement from the brimming immigrant population here represents a key challenge for Mr. Northam, the lieutenant governor, in his race against Ed Gillespie, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and a source of worry for his supporters.
Mr. Northam, who is from the southern part of the state, is not well known in the vote-rich Washington suburbs, and even some Democrats have said the campaign has failed to generate excitement.
Outside the Washington suburbs, Republicans dominate vast swaths of the state, mainly in areas where the population and economy are flat or declining. The political divide mirrors a fractious cultural one that has played out in fights throughout the state over whether to remove Confederate monuments, ban sanctuary cities or round up immigrants in the country illegally. If the core constituency that helped Democrats carry the state in the last three presidential elections does not turn out, it will be that Republican Virginia that prevails.
“It’s really not old vs. new,” said David Ramadan, a Republican who served in the state legislature representing the region. “It’s NOVA vs. ROVA, Northern Virginia vs. the Rest of Virginia.”
Turnout among immigrants is not the only concern for the Northam campaign. He will need another crucial part of the Democratic coalition: African-American voters in Northern Virginia, Richmond and the Hampton Roads area. Mr. Northam has been trying to stoke energy in urban areas, and former President Barack Obama recently appeared with him at a rally in Richmond.
“I think the big question for me on the election is: Can Lieutenant Governor Northam excite the traditional Democratic voting base in Northern Virginia and the urban centers,” said Bill Bolling, a Republican former lieutenant governor.
Okay—well, the fact that we’re talking about Northam’s ability to get non-white voters excited isn’t a good sign. And just because Barack Obama makes a pit stop here isn’t a guarantee of victory either; Hillary Clinton can attest to the deprecating value of having the former president stump for you. Yes, they mention how Asian voters tend to live Republican lives—they’re fiscally a step or two to the right, they’re socially conservative, and they’re religious, church-going individuals, but they also think that there should be a large and proactive national government. That’s where the Democrats usually find a wedge and cast the GOP as anti-poor when they want to cut waste, streamline efficiency, and place accountability standards for welfare programs. It’s a bush league swipe, but one that’s worked.
The mailers, this ad—something in the internal polling has the Northam camp spooked. We’ll find out on November 7, but I think immigrants and non-white voters are much smarter than to believe that if Gillespie wins, white people in pick-up trucks will be plowing through them, which makes the ad all the more insulting.