It’s not every day we see a gubernatorial race get national attention. After all, few of us care to take note of what’s going on in states all the way across the country or who exactly is leading them. However, we definitely have that in Virginia this year.
If you haven’t heard, the Old Dominion is about to vote for a new governor as their current leader Democrat Ralph Northam’s final term comes to a close.
On the ballot is Terry McAuliffe for the Democrats and Glenn Youngkin for the Republicans. And the race is as tight as ever. In fact, according to recent polls and NBC, it’s pretty much a dead tie at the moment.
But as one Virginia politics insider says, he expects the race to produce a full “Republican sweep.”
Enter former Virginia attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2013, Ken Cuccinelli. As someone ingrained in the commonwealth’s political landscape, Cuccinelli says it’s ripe for the leadership in the state to do a complete to the red, not that it would be all that hard.
Well, for starters, McAuliffe, as popular and well known as he is, just isn’t speaking the language of the people, particularly when it comes to schooling and parenting issues.
Back in September, during a debate, he stated that he would not “let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions.” He made it clear that he’ll side with teachers and school boards over parents and their children’s rights every time.
And since then, several major issues have come up in Virginia schools, most of which parents do not approve and would like to have a say. You know, things like allowing elementary-age kids to read and learn about sexual identity changes, masturbation, and all sorts of other filth.
On the other hand, Youngkin has firmly come down on the side of parents, knowing that they are a huge part of their kids’ education and understand more than most what is best for their children. During an October campaign stop, he stated that he has noticed parents coming together on several school-related issues and wants to make sure they have a voice.
As the issue of school district policies becomes a nationwide debate, the race between Youngkin and McAuliffe gets even more attention, as well it should.
Another issue voters may have with McAuliffe that Cuccinelli pointed out is that he hasn’t done or spoken much to offer anything to Virginia’s black communities. Sure, he’s brought in heavy hitters like former President Barack Obama and current Vice President Kamala Harris to speak on his behalf. But when it comes to policies and a history of giving them what they need, there just isn’t much to go on.
During a Saturday interview with the Washington Examiner, Virginia’s first African-American governor Douglas Wilder explained that the question is not why black Virginians aren’t supporting McAuliffe but “what reasons do they have to turn out” and support him.
Of course, that McAuliffe has brought in people Virginia blacks might feel more relatable and is still so closely tied with Youngkin in the polls doesn’t exactly bode well for him, either. As Cuccinelli told Fox & Friends, “nobody’s had to come in for Glenn Youngkin.” And yet, he’s right up there with McAuliffe in popularity.
But the race, with all that’s going on, is quickly turning into much more than just one for state leadership. As the issues being discussed are rather national ones at this point, many are saying that the outcome will speak volumes about how the upcoming midterm elections for both the House of Representatives and the Senate will go in 2022.
As we all know, the majority the Democrats currently hold in both houses is slim at best, with the Senate only needing one flipped seat next November to change the party in charge. And like history has taught us, midterms after presidential elections and a change in leadership, as this one will be, usually do not fare too well for the president’s party, as people not satisfied with how things are going will be more likely to make their discontent known.
Needless to say, should the Democrats lose in Virginia, things will only look worse for Democrats in the future.