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The Virginia governor’s race might not be a slam dunk for Democrat Terry McAuliffe

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08.09.2021

Virginia has become a Democratic-leaning state over the past decade, which gives former governor Terry McAuliffe a leg up in his effort to get his old job back. The polls, however, suggest that it might not be a slam dunk.

Republicans could have handed the race to McAuliffe by picking an ultra-Trump nominee, such as state Sen. Amanda F. Chase (Chesterfield). That would have been a kiss of death in a state that is home to many Never-Trump Republicans, and which backed President Biden by more than 10 points in 2020. They didn’t, however; instead, they picked wealthy businessman Glenn Youngkin.

Youngkin is able to self-fund his campaign and has been ubiquitous on the airwaves since he was nominated. His soft-focus ads tend to make the case that as an outsider he’s more likely to bring needed change than McAuliffe, the most insider of politicians imaginable. This is also a classic way of introducing a new candidate to voters, in that it presents unifying themes rather than the type of divisive hot-button topics that those from both parties’ extremes like to push.

That hasn’t stopped McAuliffe from trying to tie Youngkin to former president Donald Trump and conservative politics. McAuliffe’s first ad attacked the GOP nominee........

© Washington Post


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