We have been closely monitoring and documenting the wild developments that seem to occur daily as the race between Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe and his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin hits the home stretch before Election Day (Nov. 2nd).
McAuliffe’s campaign has been in a freefall, which started a month ago during a televised September debate where a visibly agitated McAuliffe admitted that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” As a result of his repeated blunders and Youngkin relentlessly staying on message and on the attack, the race is now in a dead heat.
McAuliffe’s primary campaign tactic has been to make the race about former President Donald Trump, believing he will be a drag on Youngkin’s campaign in a state that has drifted further left over the last several years. But the tactic has now backfired with the press, as not only has CNN called him out for his over-emphasis on Trump (he mentioned him 18 times in one interview), but now ABC News has. Watch as reporter Jon Karl provides an uncomfortable reminder to him as to who he’s actually running against:
— Christian Martinez (@C_RMartinez) October 24, 2021
Karl mentioning that to McAuliffe made me think on the issue a little more, and my thought on this is that McAuliffe is not simply invoking Trump every chance he gets because he thinks it’ll hurt Youngkin, but he also appears to be doing it because he can’t craft articulate arguments against anything Youngkin has had to say about how he’d govern Virginia.
Seriously. Has anyone out there ever seen McAuliffe successfully take on any Youngkin argument on running Virginia? I haven’t. All he has is “but Trump.” In effect, he’s actually trying to run against Trump here and not Youngkin which, in my view, is another sign of desperation.
The other signs of such have been obvious, with him bringing in fellow election denier Stacey Abrams in to campaign for him, resorting to bringing an oversized blow-up “Trump chicken” to packed Youngkin rallies, denying clear video evidence of him stomping off a news station’s set in a huff over education questions, and making an embarrassing admission in a fundraising email about how they “thought folks would be fired up to get out the vote, but at this point, it seems like enthusiasm is at an all-time low.”
And enthusiasm is likely to sink even lower with signs like this cropping up across the state:
Spotted in Arlington 😬 pic.twitter.com/Br4B4AKxQQ
— Team Youngkin (@TeamYoungkin) October 24, 2021
Even if McAuliffe does end up winning the race, his opposition can at least take comfort in the fact that not only did Youngkin, his team, and Republicans across the state not make it easier for him, but he also didn’t make it easy for himself – at all.