Yet Another Top Democrat Will Be Campaigning for Terry McAuliffe As Virginia's Gubernatorial Race Tightens

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Posted: Oct 15, 2021 5:00 PM
Yet Another Top Democrat Will Be Campaigning for Terry McAuliffe As Virginia's Gubernatorial Race Tightens

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Update: 

When asked by a reporter on Friday if he talked about Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia gubernatorial race, President Joe Biden appeared confused before answering. "No, we didn't talk about any of that that I can think of."

Original Post:

Vice President Kamala Harris is set to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who previously served as governor of Virginia from 2014-2018. Dan Merica, in his reporting for CNN, wrote that the outlet was told by "a source familiar with the plan." She is just one of many top Democrats who are to campaign for McAuliffe in what is looking to be a tightening race less than three weeks before the November 2 election.

The vice president is hardly the only high-profile Democrat to campaign for McAuliffe. First Lady Jill Biden is coming today, with former George gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams coming on Sunday. It was announced on Tuesday's episode of "Morning Joe" that former President Barack Obama will be campaigning as well, later this month. 

Townhall was present at a press gaggle after an education roundtable event on Tuesday where McAuliffe told a reporter when asked about President Joe Biden that "he'll be coming back."

Merica in his reporting also acknowledges that:

Although McAuliffe has consistently maintained a small advantage over his Republican opponent throughout the 2021 race, Democrats in Virginia are worried that their voters, weary after four years of high-stakes elections with former President Donald Trump in office, are less engaged in this gubernatorial race than the party needs them to be, leading to narrow polls in the final weeks of the campaign.

...

McAuliffe, in interviews over the last week, has argued the race now comes down to turnout, something he hopes to see improve as these top Democrats rally voters in the commonwealth. 

Youngkin has responded to the list of Democratic officials headed to Virginia by arguing it shows McAuliffe wants to make the race about anyone other than himself.

Larry Sabato, director for the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia weighed in on the state of the race during Thursday's episode of "CNN Newsroom," pointing out that it is usually the party opposite of the incumbent's that is favored:

The tradition not just in Virginia but in a lot of other states is in a midterm election even if it's the year before the national midterm, you have some kind of reaction, negative reaction, usually to the new administration or the incumbent presidential administration.

So, while Terry McAuliffe beat that when he was elected governor the first time in 2013, it had been consistently the case that the candidate of the party opposite the White House won the Virginia governorship. So, McAuliffe is trying to pull this trick twice. It's not easy, but President Biden ratings have been falling though they've also ticked up recently.

A Trafalgar poll with 1,095 likely general election voters shows Youngkin polling very slightly ahead, which is a statistical tie considering the margin of error is at 2.96 percent. though it's nevertheless significant that there is a poll where he is ahead of McAuliffe.

A recently released Fox News poll has McAuliffe polling ahead of Youngkin, by 51 to 46 percent. 

President Biden campaigned for McAuliffe and the rest of the Democratic ticket in July, but since then, as McAuliffe has acknowledged, the president is no longer so popular in the commonwealth. 

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