Politics Obama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe

15:25  23 october  2021
15:25  23 october  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's Democratic candidate for governor, distances his fortunes from Biden's agenda

  Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's Democratic candidate for governor, distances his fortunes from Biden's agenda In Washington, Democrats believe that if they can pass an infrastructure bill before Oct. 31, it will help Terry McAuliffe win his second term as Virginia’s governor just two days later — and if they do not, he might be doomed. But at a campaign stop in Northern Virginia on Tuesday, McAuliffe said he didn’t think voters in the commonwealth cared that much about the goings-on in Congress. “What I’m hearing around Virginia is not what’s going on in Washington, D.C., at all.

Former President Obama is hitting the campaign trail with Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday in hopes of energizing a relatively unexcited Democratic base ahead of what is expected to be a nail biter of an election next month.

Barack Obama wearing a blue shirt: Obama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe © getty: Former President Obama Obama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe

McAuliffe and his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin are neck and neck in recent polls, but it's the enthusiasm gap between the two parties that has Democrats on edge. A Monmouth University poll showed 49 percent of Republican voters saying they are more enthusiastic than usual to vote in the election compared to 26 percent of Democrats.

McAuliffe's backslapping political brand put to test in 2021

  McAuliffe's backslapping political brand put to test in 2021 NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Terry McAuliffe is a blur of handshakes, hugs, backslaps and smiles as he glides through the friendly crowd at Gethsemane Baptist Church seeking help from above. For the former Virginia governor running again for his old job, it's not necessarily God's grace he's after at this moment. He's seeking assistance from another higher power a few hours north in Washington, where McAuliffe's longtime friends in Congress are struggling to pass an infrastructure package that could help millions of Virginia residents — and his own campaign. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct.

Democrats say the issue is that the election is taking place a year after a brutally exhausting presidential election amid a global pandemic, and that President Biden's approval ratings in the Old Dominion are down. But they say with the help of Obama, arguably the most popular Democrat in the country, they will be able to fire up their base.

"It looks like a turnout election," said Mark Rozell, dean and Ruth D. and John T. Hazel chair in public policy at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

"The Republicans have the enthusiasm," he said. "Their base is excited. The Democratic base though, even if not as enthusiastic at this stage."

McAuliffe has recruited other big Democratic Party names as well, including President Biden, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison. Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned with McAuliffe in Prince William County, Va., on Thursday, imploring her party's voters to head to the polls.

Abortion, schools take center stage in Virginia governor's election ad wars

  Abortion, schools take center stage in Virginia governor's election ad wars National issues such as abortion and schools have taken center stage in Virginia's television ad wars between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glen Youngkin.The commonwealth's competitive race for governor is viewed by many as a harbinger of what's to come in the 2022 midterms, and the race is already proving to be a testing ground for some of the biggest national issues that could influence next year's elections.

On top of that, McAuliffe launched a "Get Out The Vote Bus Tour" on Friday, which included a stop with actor Blake Cooper Griffin. On Sunday, musician Dave Matthews will perform at a GOTV rally with McAuliffe, Abrams, and Harrison in Charlottesville.

"These are major key Democratic players who are going to come into Virginia and give us a wonderful shot in the arm as far as voter enthusiasm goes because everyone will be so excited to see them and it's a great reminder of who we are as Democrats and what we're fighting for," said former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D).

McAuliffe's team has also pointed to recent fundraising numbers as a show of his grassroots support. The former governor's communications director Christina Freundlich tweeted on Thursday that the campaign raised $600,0000 online alone during the day and has raised nearly $5 million online since Oct. 1.

"We can ascertain there's an increased level of energy by the number of donors," said Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D). "We've got twice as many donors, if not more small dollar donations as those on the other side of the aisle."

McAuliffe and Youngkin are in a dead heat with one week to Virginia governor election, poll shows

  McAuliffe and Youngkin are in a dead heat with one week to Virginia governor election, poll shows Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin are tied at roughly 45% each, according to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll released Tuesday. But roughly 5% of likely voters say they are still undecided a week before the Nov. 2 election. © Cliff Owen, AP Virginia gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Terry McAuliffe left, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, talk during the Virginia FREE Leadership Luncheon in McLean, Va., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, said the race is simply a "dead heat," and will boil down to which party can get out its voters.

Democrats have also employed other grassroots initiatives in the final weeks of the campaign including Carroll Foy's own "Virginia For Everyone" PAC, which has the goal of knocking 35,000 doors in key districts across the state.

"It's always difficult in Virginia when you have these off-year elections," Foy said. "We know what's at stake because Virginia is a litmus test on the policies of the federal government and the president."

Youngkin's campaign has employed a different approach less than two weeks out from Election Day.

While the Republican has held smaller campaign events and fundraisers with GOP figures like former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, most of Youngkin's larger rallies have not featured big-name Republican surrogates.

In fact, Youngkin's "Win with Glenn Bus Tour," which kicks off Saturday in Henrico County, Va., will not feature any national surrogates and instead include Virginians whose stories represent the campaign's message.

Youngkin has zeroed in strongly on the issue of parents' rights in schools as an issue to fire up his conservative base. According to his campaign, Youngkin drew a crowd of nearly a thousand at a rally in Burke, Va. on Tuesday when he called for an investigation into the handling of two sexual assault cases at Loudoun County Public Schools.

Biden heads to Virginia amid high-stakes governor's race

  Biden heads to Virginia amid high-stakes governor's race ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — President Joe Biden is heading across the Potomac River to campaign for Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday, in a tight and increasingly bitter Virginia governor's race that will test the durability of his popularity in a state he won handily a year ago. No Republican has won statewide office in Virginia since 2009, and Biden carried it by a comfortable 10 percentage points in 2020. Yet polls have shown McAuliffe, who previously served as governor from 2014 to 2018, tied with Republican former business executive Glenn Youngkin with the election a week away — and the president's own popularity is on the decline.

The Republican nominee took an opportunity to swipe at McAuliffe when he announced the bus tour on Friday, saying his opponent "relies on big-name surrogates to draw paltry apathetic crowds."

But Democrats push back against this saying the enthusiasm at the grassroots level is growing as more Virginians tune into the off-year race in its final weeks.

"They're waking up to the fact that yes, there is an election coming," said one Democratic strategist.

Democrats also maintain that former President Trump, who was a major motivator for Virginia Democrats as the state trended blue during his administration, will still galvanize their base from outside of the White House.

"Glenn Youngkin will be a Donald Trump surrogate here in Virginia," Foy said. "Donald Trump's legacy is that he took over the Supreme Court and now Donald Trump wants to take over Virginia. We're not going to allow it to happen.

While Virginia Democrats say they are universally amped about Obama's visit, observers are skeptical of the impact of his get out the vote message.

"One should not overstate the ability of a popular politician to transfer his popularity automatically into large scale turnout," Rozell said.

Meet Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic insider hoping to return to the Virginia governor's mansion .
Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is an establishment Democratic Party loyalist who has never been afraid to throw a verbal punch, ask for a buck, or bust a dance move. © Provided by Washington Examiner In his bid to return to the Virginia governor’s mansion, McAuliffe, 64, has nationalized the race, making the campaign in large part about whether it is acceptable for voters to elect a man endorsed by former President Donald Trump. The strategy could be make-or-break for McAuliffe.

usr: 4
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