During a 8News and Urban One Gubernatorial Candidate forum on Thursday night, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was asked what changes, if any, he would make to Virginia's abortion laws. In his answer, McAuliffe told co-moderator Clovia Lawrence that "there probably isn't a more important question to ask right now" and later emphasized "this is so important." Virginia voters, however, say otherwise.
VIRGINIA VOTER POLL: #VAGov candidate trusted more on— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) October 20, 2021
ECONOMY/JOBS (45% name as a top issue):
According to Monmouth Poll results released on Wednesday, abortion is the fifth most selected issue, out of seven which voters are given to choose from. It beat out "police issues" and "race relations."
Further, while McAuliffe does barely beat out his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin on who voters trust more on the abortion issue (35-33 percent), it's slim enough that a write-up from Monmouth says Youngkin "has drawn even." In September, McAuliffe had a 40-32 percent lead.
The importance of the abortion issue in voter's eyes has also gone down, while issues like "jobs and the economy" and "education and school" have gone up, both of which favor Youngkin, especially on the economy.
In his response, McAuliffe repeated a misleading claim about his opponent, that Youngkin "has said he will ban abortions." He also said, because he's "terrified of the Trump Supreme Court," and that "every woman in America" should be, that he will look into "enshrining Roe v. Wade in the state constitution."
Speaking to how "every woman in Virginia should be clear," McAuliffe turned, not once, but twice, to a campaign line he has used repeatedly which is that he was, as governor from 2014-2018, and will be should he is elected again, "a brick wall" when it comes to abortion.
The former governor reminisced about how he had vetoed legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood, which performs more abortions than any other entity in the country. McAuliffe even vetoed such legislation at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
In his answer, McAuliffe made a particularly bizarre claim that "had I not gotten elected in 2013, there would be not one, not one, women's clinic open today."
There's no guarantee that would be the case, even if McAuliffe's Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, was elected, even if such legislation did go to his desk, and even if Cuccinelli did sign it. Defund legislation does not close the doors of these facilities, but rather removes state funding.
In yet another claim, McAuliffe offered that businesses would not want to come to Virginia if Youngkin were elected, supposedly because of the Republican's views on same-sex marriage and abortion. "Glenn Youngkin will be crippling to our economy, all of those projects he brought in, will be gone," emphasizing "they're not going to stay here."
As the Monmouth Poll shows, though, Youngkin has a 39-34 percent lead among registered voters when it comes to the economy and jobs.
During his own appearance, Youngkin thanked co-moderator Eric Philips for asking him the same question, because, as Youngkin explained it "nowhere has my opponent probably more misrepresented my position." While he made clear he's pro-life, Youngkin also indicated "I've said very clearly that the kind of bill that was passed in Texas is not a bill I would sign," going on to say it's because he finds it "complex and unworkable."
When it comes to pro-life legislation he would sign, Youngkin came out in favor of pain-capable legislation, which has passed in 16 states around the country.
McAuliffe made many of the same exact remarks on Wednesday morning while speaking at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. In this instance, though, he also claimed "there's not a woman CEO in America that wants to go to a state where someone's banning abortions and making it difficult on people's lives."
"There is no daylight between Terry McAuliffe and the extreme abortion industry," national spokeswoman for Women Speak Out Virginia Mallory Quigley told Townhall in response to such a claim. "As his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin pointed out in their most recent debate, McAuliffe’s goal is to make Virginia the easiest place to get an abortion to incentivize businesses to move there. Youngkin called this 'shameful' – and we could not agree more."
Not surprisingly, McAuliffe is heavily endorsed and funded by the abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC, New Virginia Majority, and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.
These groups have also come under scrutiny for being vocal supporters of defunding the police. Despite such a stance, McAuliffe proudly accepted the endorsements of these groups, and indicated last month that he is proud of all of his endorsements.
While McAuliffe has tried to portray himself as a women's rights candidate, because of this issue, Monmouth also showed that his lead has shrunk significantly among women. His lead is now just at 47 percent to Youngkin's 43 percent, after it had been at 52 percent to Youngkin's 38 percent last month.
McAuliffe discusses abortion beginning at 22:22 in the video below. Youngkin does at 52:07.