As we previously reported, it is officially official that Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin has overtaken Democrat nominee Terry McAuliffe in the polls, with the most recent one – a Fox News poll – showing Youngkin with an eight-point advantage among likely voters. This represents a big turnaround from the last Fox News poll taken two weeks ago, which showed McAuliffe ahead by five points.
Where the most noticeable shift was in that poll was among education voters, which gave Youngkin a 12 point advantage over McAuliffe.
But numbers from another poll released this week, this one from the Washington Post, show an even more dramatic shift among education voters away from McAuliffe and towards Youngkin:
That is HUGE. A 42 percent shift to Youngkin among voters on education. 42 percent! Especially big since it is the top issue for voters in the state. Rest assured Terry McAuliffe will be having some more nightmares tonight.
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Further, the report also notes that it’s McAuliffe and not Youngkin who is struggling to shore up his base of support down the homestretch:
This lines up with the embarrassing fundraising email McAuliffe’s campaign sent a week ago noting 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.” It could also have something to do in part with former Virginia Democrat Gov. Doug Wilder (who is black) unloading on McAuliffe over his pandering to black voters, something Wilder portrayed as wholly insincere and nakedly opportunistic.
Independent voters are giving Youngkin a big advantage as well:
This matches up with a recent CBS News report which featured independent voters in the state who had previously supported Democrats suggesting that they wanted to send a message to Joe Biden with their votes for Youngkin.
Keep in mind that this latest wave of bad news from McAuliffe comes as he made a deliberate “pivot” on education over the last couple of weeks, apparently sensing that what he had been doing – doubling down on the blunder he made in September when he admitted that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach” – wasn’t working.
Obviously, his new approach isn’t working, as his support continues to crater white Youngkin smartly capitalizes on it and seizes the momentum.
Naturally, when a Democrat is up against the wall in the closing days, guess what happens? You guessed it – the race card gets played shamelessly, as we saw last night with the despicable “Southern Strategy” ad the sexual-predator-defenders at the Lincoln Project released as well as the obvious smear attempt from operatives likely affiliated with McAuliffe’s campaign showing up at a Youngkin campaign stop earlier today carrying tiki torches in an obvious attempt at invoking the horrors of Charlottesville. One of the people seen holding a tiki torch was a black guy. My colleague Bonchie had the perfect response to that:
If these were real white supremacists, I’m going to guess they wouldn’t be palling around with a black guy. But hey, what do I know?
In addition to the 11th-hour playing of the race card has been the predictable national media interference, led by CNN, which frantically reported earlier this week that McAuliffe’s education comments had been “spun out of control” and taken out of context, which was such an absurd claim that the “reporter” didn’t even bother playing the actual video of what McAuliffe said, which proves otherwise. Apparently, we’re just supposed to go along with a CNN reporter’s translation of events? I don’t think so.
It’s got to be enraging to Terry McAuliffe that he has so far been unable to successfully use former President Trump’s support for Youngkin to effectively smear him, try as often as he might. In fact, the only person Terry McAuliffe has hurt through this campaign has been Terry McAuliffe.
Meanwhile, Glenn Youngkin continues to mostly go it alone, not bringing in any GOP star power perhaps because he sees that what he’s been doing so far is working – selling himself and himself alone.
On the other hand, a desperate McAuliffe has had to resort to bringing in fellow election deniers like Stacey Abrams, dragging a blow-up “Trump chicken” doll to packed Youngkin rallies, and lobbing false anti-Semitism and racism allegations in hopes that they stick by scaring enough unsuspecting voters.
As of right now, they don’t appear to be sticking. My hope is that Virginia voters will send a strong message next week that they’re done with this type of gutter politics and emotional manipulation, and tell McAuliffe with their vote to kiss their grits.