We reported earlier on how Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe has to keep getting reminded by mainstream media reporters – including those from CNN of all places – that he is, in fact, running against Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin and not former President Donald Trump who, last I checked, was not anywhere on the ballot in this bellwether race.
That tactic along with bringing in high-profile out-of-state Democrat surrogates like Vice President Kamala Harris, failed 2018 Georgia Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, First Lady Jill Biden, former President Barack Obama, and various celebrities are the two main strategies that McAuliffe believes will help him over the finish line and carry him to the winner’s circle on November 2nd.
In contrast, down the home stretch with the race now tied after a series of epic blunders by McAuliffe and as Youngkin continues to bring the heat, what type of GOP star power is Youngkin bringing in?
Answer: No one. He’s largely doing this on his own at this point:
Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin is going at it alone in the home stretch of Virginia’s gubernatorial race and passing on the chance to invite the GOP’s biggest guns into the state.
Mr. Youngkin kicked off a “Win with Glenn” bus tour over the weekend, touting it as a chance to draw a “contrast between the grassroots enthusiasm for Glenn Youngkin‘s candidacy and Terry McAuliffe‘s desperate campaign that needs fellow career politicians Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Kamala Harris, and Barack Obama to draw mediocre crowds that attended to see the surrogates, not Terry.”
Mr. Youngkin, a former private equity CEO and political newcomer, is focusing his final message on cutting taxes, curbing regulations and more parental involvement in public education.
The results of this strategy – a dead heat race with a little over a week to go – indicate that it’s working. This has to be driving McAuliffe, who was once considered a shoo-in to win this race, absolutely crazy with the nightmares that go along with it.
To be fair, McAuliffe has been his own worst enemy over the last month, starting with the televised September debate where a visibly agitated McAuliffe admitted that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” And instead of backtracking, McAuliffe has doubled down, getting downright hostile and combative with local reporters who rightly press him on the issue – and in one instance stomping off a TV set and whining about how the reporter “should have asked better questions” (which he denies doing, though video evidence proves otherwise).
McAuliffe’s shall we say “missteps” have caused his campaign to have to admit in the closing days that the voter enthusiasm just is not there. And then there’s the bringing in of the oversized blow-up “Trump chicken” to packed Youngkin rallies. Not exactly the moves of a confident candidate.
Also in fairness, it’s a common tactic for politicians on both sides of the aisle to try and tie their opponents to people who they think will hurt them in their campaigns. For instance, every Republican running next year – especially in battleground states and districts – is going to drag their opposition by tying them to Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ deep unpopularity (assuming the numbers still hold). As they should.
That said, in instances where this happens, the onus is on the candidate to say, hey, tie me to who you want but this is who I am, this is where I stand, and vote for me if you think I bring good ideas to the table. The onus is also on those same candidates to find the weak spots in their opposition and capitalize on them, which I call the “Sweep the Leg” strategy if you catch my meaning. Youngkin is doing all of this, again, mostly on his own with just days left to go.
So Glenn Youngkin isn’t bringing in Donald Trump. Who cares? Glenn Youngkin isn’t Donald Trump. And that’s okay. He’s his own guy, somewhat of a political outsider, from what I understand, which actually is not a bad thing considering Democrat Virginia insiders haven’t exactly done the state proud over the last decade or so.
The main thing to remember here is not that Youngkin is not bringing in Donald Trump; it’s that he’s not Terry McAuliffe. As far as I’m concerned and considering how McAuliffe can’t even represent his state with dignity and how he has treated voters (parents!) with so much disrespect during his campaign, that’s the most important factoid of all for voters to consider at this stage in the game.