VA Democrats' Closing Argument: The Republicans Are Evil, We're The Good Guys
Matt Vespa  | November 02, 2017

UPDATE: The Washington Post asked Northam for a comment about the GOP is “evil” remarks by Favola. He pretty much ducked on denouncing it. Meanwhile, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told Virginia voters that on Election Day, “you can show our country that division and hatred do not reflect the ideals of who we are.”

Gee—looks like someone missed the memo, or that the Democratic Party is still a chicken running around with its head cut off. 


Next week, Virginians go to the polls to decide who will be the next governor. It’s been a low-key race concerning coverage, but it’s a key race, one that could give Democrats a much-needed morale boost after failing to win a string of elections in Donald Trump’s America. Granted, even if Republicans lose, the Virginia gubernatorial race is hardly a crystal ball into how the midterm election season will turnout. Yet, I don’t think this is a shoo-in for Democratic candidate Ralph Northam—and he’s surely not acting like it. The last leg of this election has been marred with some rather nasty mailers and ads directed at Republican candidate Ed Gillespie, with Virginia Democrats trying to tie him to white nationalists. This sends us back to the infamous August Charlottesville protest, where these folks descended into the city to voice their opposition to the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue—supposedly. Gillespie condemned the rally, which left a woman dead and scores of other injured.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch called the mailers “practically libel,” while The Daily Progress, a Charlottesville-based paper, said the Northam campaign using their pain to score points was “stomach-turning.”   

Right now, the race is tied, which could put this in Gillespie’s favor. This is an off-year election, with turnout generally being low—and even The New York Times reported that many of the nonwhite voters Northam needs energize simply don’t feel it with his campaign. National Democrats have also recognized that Northam could blow this and are becoming increasingly jittery as a result.

That feeling was translated in a ludicrous ad from the Latino Victory Fund, featuring a white pickup truck driver, with a Confederate flag (are you kidding me, folks?), who is seen mowing over Asian, black, Muslim, and Hispanic children. The ad has been pulled since a terrorist from Uzbekistan actually did that in lower Manhattan on Tuesday. Prior to that, an illegal alien chased down a group of Muslim teens near Sterling, Virginia in his car and killed one with a baseball bat.

As both sides make their final arguments, it appears Virginia Democrats are totally out of ideas, let alone things to say. State Sen. Barbara Favola decided to keep in line with the Democratic tradition of insulting centrists, rural voters, and of course Republicans by saying “they’re evil, we’re the good guys.” Vote for Northam, not because you support him on the issues, but because the GOP…is evil? If anything, it shows how the 2016 election has broken people more than others.

Americans for Prosperity, the Republican Governors Association, Everytown have doled out some serious cash, especially the Republicans. AFP sunk another $1 million-plus into the race (via WaPo):

Americans for Prosperity, the heart of the billionaire Koch Brothers’ conservative political network, plans to ramp up its campaign against Ralph Northam, the Democrat in Virginia’s governor’s race.

The conservative group announced Friday that it would spend at least $1 million on mailers and digital ads targeting Northam’s record on taxes, education and economic development.

It follows at least $1.8 million in anti-Northam television commercials and mailers to date, according to data collected by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. The group also says it has contacted hundreds of thousands of Virginia voters through its phone-banking and canvassing efforts.

Northam faces Republican Ed Gillespie in three weeks. Their race, the nation’s only competitive statewide contest this year, has drawn millions in spending from outside groups.

Americans for Prosperity’s advertising does not explicitly tell voters to support Gillespie, but its anti-Northam spending helps the Republican contender make up for a financial disadvantage. Northam had more than twice as much cash in campaign accounts than Gillespie heading into October, records show.


We’re confident that this renewed effort over the coming weeks will help us share Northam’s record to Virginians, and they won’t like what they hear,” Americans for Prosperity Virginia director J.C. Hernandez said in a statement. “From backing tax hikes to the bad deals with taxpayer dollars, Northam’s fiscal policies would make life more expensive for households across the state.”

The Post added that the National Rifle Association is dropping $760,000 into the race as well, while the Republican National Committee and the RGA have invested $15 million (via Washington Times):

“The RNC has been all-in from the beginning,” said John Whitbeck, chairman of the Virginia Republican Party.

The assistance may have helped Mr. Gillespie narrow the polls with Democratic nominee Ralph Northam, who’s getting massive assistance from liberal advocacy groups but not as much from national Democratic committees, which are struggling financially.

Flush with cash, the RNC has invested nearly $5 million in the race, and the RGA has ponied up $10 million.

The Democratic National Committee has put $1.5 million behind Mr. Northam, and the Democratic Governors Association’s contribution is more than $6 million — combining for about half the rate of the GOP.

And speaking of closing arguments, here’s Mr. Gillespie’s:

The polls open on November 7. If Northam falls short, well--here's a clue of where he missed the mark in his campaign.

More Stories