Do you want to help ensure that the Democrats stay in power in Virginia? Then I encourage you to share information and get involved with the 2021 Virginia governor’s race.
That’s right — this is happening THIS fall, not next year with the rest of the governors’ races happening in the midterms.
Currently, the governor of Virginia is Ralph Northam (D). Virginia law states that a governor can’t run for re-election for concurrent terms, so the governorship is what we call “open.”
The Democrats chose former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe (D) as their nominee in the primary election earlier this summer. McAuliffe was governor between 2014-2018, and yes, you’re remembering correctly that he was the one to call a state of emergency in response to the Charlottesville white supremacist rally back in 2017. (The one where Trump said there were good people “on both sides.”)
He also received strong approval as governor for making significant progress on decreasing veteran homelessness, restoring voting rights to over 140,000 former felons, and increasing economic development for the state. Prior to being governor, McAuliffe chaired President Clinton’s re-election campaign and headed up the DNC for 4 years.
Meanwhile, the Republicans controversially ditched a primary and instead had a nominating convention to choose their gubernatorial nominee. They ended up choosing Glenn Youngkin (R) to be their nominee. Youngkin has never held political office, and received Donald Trump’s endorsement within 24 hours of the announcement.
He is a businessman, and has been with the private-equity firm The Carlyle Group for 25 years, most recently as CEO. So far, his campaign has not made it clear what his policy positions are and Youngkin just backed out of debating McAuliffe, so Virginia voters will not be learning more about how he intends to govern Virginia anytime soon.
How does the race look?
On the plus side, McAuliffe outraised Youngkin by a lot. “McAuliffe’s campaign said he raised just over $7.5 million for the filing period of May 28 through June 30, compared with $3.6 million reported by Youngkin’s campaign for the same period.” (Source)
But, the most recent polling shows that McAuliffe is only a few points ahead of Youngkin (47% to 45%, per a Trafalgar Group poll) which I think shows us all just how polarized the electorate is.
Virginia has been getting bluer, but the margins in these elections has been incredibly narrow. It will take huge turnout by Democrats to ensure that the state doesn’t flip back to red again.
How you can help the Democrats win
No surprise, it’s going to take good old fashioned organizing and investment.
1. Donate to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign. McAuliffe has the edge with fundraising right now, but it’ll be important to stay in front of Virginia’s voters right up until Election Day. He’ll need the staff to ensure as many voters are hearing from the campaign as possible.
2. Share the link for McAuliffe’s campaign website. Send out this link on your social media accounts to remind people the election is THIS November, and that they can either donate or sign up for email updates directly from the campaign website.
3. Sign up with Swing Left to volunteer with their Virginia efforts! Swing Left is one of many organizations that is organizing in Virginia, and they need volunteers. Let them know you want to help!
Do you have other ideas of how we can get involved with the Virginia elections this year? If so, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!
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