Category Archives: Elections

McAuliffe Unhinged

by Kerry Dougherty

This is what happens when Democrat Terry McAuliffe gets tough questions from the press instead of his customary tongue bath:

This interview was taped last week by an ABC affiliate in Washington, WJLA 7News. The reporter, Nick Minock, interviewed Glenn Youngkin and McAuliffe, giving each candidate 20 minutes. McAuliffe stormed off after just 10 minutes, berating the reporter for not asking better questions as he left.

Not a good look. Continue reading

A New Low: Sleazy Attempt to Get Youngkin Voters to Stay Home

by Kerry Dougherty

There are all sorts of slimy political campaigns. There are campaigns that try to scare folks into voting against a candidate. There are campaigns built on distortions and outright lies.

Perhaps the most repulsive campaigns are those that engage in subterfuge to try to discourage citizens from voting.

Voter suppression is profoundly undemocratic. Surely we can all agree about that.

Yet we learned this week that Dominion Power gave generously to a shadowy PAC that has exactly one purpose: to pretend that conservatives are unhappy with Glenn Youngkin’s stand on guns in an attempt to convince rural Virginians to stay home in November.

Sick. Continue reading

Dominion and Despicable Voter Suppression

So it was Dominion Energy paying for campaign ads opposing gun regulation! Here is why.

by Steve Haner

Dominion Energy Virginia’s knowing participation in an effort to suppress the November 2 vote, aimed mainly at Western Virginia Republicans, is a truly despicable act. It should enrage all Virginians, without regard to party. This is a state-created and regulated monopoly and the $200,000 it spent on this underhanded activity was provided by captive customers.

I further assert that in previous election cycles, as heavily as Dominion funded various candidates, this type of expense would not have been approved by the management, including the late Thomas Farrell. But Farrell is dead and the political deciders at the top now are both long-time partisan Democrats who fully understood they were paying for voter suppression.

I would be expressing no anger whatsoever if Dominion had merely donated $200,000 directly and openly to Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. It would have been a logical move to support a former governor who strongly backed its failed natural gas pipeline project, and now has pledged to deeply enrich the company by accelerating the transition to unreliable renewable generation instead.

McAuliffe is nothing if not flexible. I used another word to describe his subservience to Dominion on Twitter yesterday and got blocked for 12 hours. Continue reading

Last Local? Harrisonburg’s City Races Could Still Top the Ballot

by Joe Fitzgerald

I barely recognized Mark Obenshain (the Republican state senator from Harrisonburg — ed.) the last time I saw him, and had to tell him who I was. Odd, because we used to run into each other regularly at Keister Elementary, at one time our shared precinct.

That was back when all politics was still local in Harrisonburg. There could be an Obenshain barn sign stored in a shed at a city elementary school and a Democratic official – that would be me – could roll his eyes and entertain the possibility it was donated for art projects. As an election judge, formally closing the polls, I could find Mark and one other guy chatting outside on a cold Election Day and just tell them, instead of making a loud declaration.

The big change from all politics being local began when Suzanne and the now-retired registrar took various actions to prevent or slow student registration in 2008. But as late as 2010 I could still see Mark outside the polls at Keister and note that it was the last local election for 12 years.

I sort of remember thinking he was one of the few people who would get it. With local elections moved from May to November, the congressional year without a Senate or Presidential race was the only time local issues and city council candidates might dominate the ballot. Continue reading

McAuliffe Tries to Change the Subject

by Kerry Dougherty

Lemme get this straight, a band of far-right fanatics held a rally in Glen Allen Wednesday night and the governor of Virginia held a press conference the next day to demand that GOP candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin denounce them?

News flash, Gov. Northam: Youngkin wasn’t there. It wasn’t his rally. He had nothing to do with it.

Nice try, though.

At this point Ralph Northam is nothing more than a lame duck political hack trying to breathe life into Terry McAuliffe’s lackluster campaign. Never mind that during the 2019 Blackface Scandal McAuliffe told Northam to resign.

That’s just shoe polish under the bridge now. Continue reading

Another Straw in the Wind…

With all due recognition that fund-raising emails are calculated to stir emotions (either positive or negative) for the purpose of inspiring donations, I find this appeal from the McAuliffe campaign to contain a remarkable confession.

I’m flabbergasted, Jim …

We’ve been sending you email after email about just how important this race is, but it’s October, and it’s looking like a tossup right now.

I 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.

The default mode of candidates is to feign optimism even if they don’t feel it. They maintain the pretense of enthusiasm in the electorate, even if it doesn’t exist. If the McAuliffe campaign admits openly that enthusiasm seems to be at “an all time low,” it might well be.

— JAB

Redistricting: Breakdown!

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

The redistricting process has broken down here on the eve of the deadline of the Virginia Redistricting Commission to report to the General Assembly.

The divisions and distrust are so deep that the members could not agree even on which maps to use as a starting point in session on Friday.

When the Commission last met last Saturday, it ended the day with Republican- and Democratic-drawn maps for both the House of Delegates and Senate. During the first part of this week, it conducted eight virtual public hearings. The goal for today was to adopt one map for each house to report to the General Assembly by the deadline on Monday. Continue reading

Virginia Polls Tightening, 25 Days to Election Day

Home stretch momentum shifting. Independents breaking to GOP.

by Chris Saxman

Trying to make sense out of all the polls you are seeing on the Virginia gubernatorial race?

Start at the top. How’s Joe Biden doing? Hint: he’s never been that popular nationally except when the choice was Biden v Trump.

Terry McAuliffe said as much in this clip put out by the RNC:

Continue reading

The Party Realignment Accelerates

by James A. Bacon

Brandon Jarvis, author of the Virginia Political Newsletter, sums up the latest Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll of the Virginia gubernatorial election. Democrat Terry McAuliffe leads Republican Glenn Youngkin by one percentage point, with two percentage points undecided. Yes, it’s a tight race, but the demographic breakdown is what’s most interesting.

McAuliffe leads with women 51% to 45%, while Youngkin leads with men 50% to 46%. McAuliffe also leads among Black voters (72% to 25%), while Youngkin leads among White voters (53% to 45%) and Hispanic voters (55% to 45%).

Wait, what? Youngkin garners 25% support from Blacks? He gets 55%, an outright majority, among Hispanics? But his lead among White voters has shriveled. When was the last time a Republican candidate got such numbers?

It looks like a major political realignment is going on. Despite Democrats’ fervent efforts to portray Republicans as the party of racists, it is apparent that a lot of minorities are not buying the message.

What is the new fault line in Virginia politics? I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow.

— JAB

Redistricting: Incumbents, Open Seats, and Partisanship

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Most General Assembly incumbents are resting easier. The Democrat and Republican map drawers took their guidance from the Virginia Redistricting Commission seriously and drew district lines putting most incumbents in districts with no other incumbents.

As discussed in an earlier post, the Commission members interpreted Virginia Code language as requiring it to protect incumbents as much as possible. That language prohibits the production of plans that, on the whole, “unduly favor or disfavor” a political party.

The extent to which the lines were drawn to protect incumbents is not obvious on the maps that have been made public. However, the map drawers, while presenting their recommendations on Saturday to the Commission, were able to turn on an overlay in their software that showed the precise location of each incumbent’s residence. A large number of those little dots were very close to district lines or nestled in an area that suddenly bulged from one district into an adjacent district. Continue reading

Black Voter Monolith Looking Less Monolithic

Unidentified member of the Hampton Roads Black Caucus announces group’s support for Youngkin. First hint to Youngkin campaign: when someone announces their support, include their name! Second hint: Give us more than 20 seconds. Let them explain why they endorse you! 

by James A. Bacon

Last week Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin received the endorsement of the Hampton Roads Black Caucus (HRBC). It was the first time that the civil rights organization, which had endorsed Democrat Terry McAuliffe eight years ago, has backed a Republican for governor since it was founded in 2012, according to the Youngkin campaign.

The poll generated no local media interest other than a predictable story from Fox News, as well as a brief story on WTOP-TV.

Equally predictably, the McAuliffe campaign downplayed the significance. “I love it when the Youngkin team tweets HUGE NEWS about a Republican group endorsing their Republican candidate,” scoffed McAuliffe campaign spokeswoman Christina Freundlich. Continue reading

Redistricting: Impasse?

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

The Virginia Redistricting Commission started its meeting on Saturday with the goal of reaching a preliminary agreement on one draft map for the House of Delegates and one draft map for the Senate in anticipation of public hearings scheduled to begin on Monday. Six hours later, the meeting was adjourned with the members at a near impasse.  There was no “integrated” map for either house and the members had trouble agreeing on how to proceed to the public hearings.

Continuing the approach they had been using in the past, there was a House map developed by the Republican map drawer and one by the Democratic map drawer, each incorporating changes suggested by the Commission members in earlier meetings. During their review, they made some progress, even tweaking some lines in the Lynchburg area and some involving Pittsylvania, Henry, Patrick, and Floyd counties.  The problems arose when they began considering Hampton Roads and the Richmond area. Continue reading

Democrat Bunkum about Youngkin

Arthur G. Purves

In this fall’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign, Virginia Democrats are citing “a new independent study” to attack Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, when Democrat policies themselves merit scrutiny. The Virginia Democrats web page does not cite the source of the Youngkin study but does link to the the website of the Virginia Education Association (VEA), whose political action committee has endorsed the Democrat candidate. The VEA page describes a study about “… Mr. Youngkin’s proposal to eliminate the personal income tax …” but does not link to an actual study. To request it, you must contact VEA Communications.

Try it. The reply was, “This study is being reserved for VEA members and members of the media.” (Though a long-standing member of the media, Bacon’s Rebellion publisher Jim Bacon received the same response.)

What are the Democrats and the “independent” Virginia Education Association trying to hide? Perhaps it is that Mr. Youngkin never proposed to eliminate the personal income tax. According to PolitiFact:

Continue reading

Gubernatorial Debate Review with Winners and Losers

by Chris Saxman

Last night’s debate between Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin was more or less like the first one on substance – pretty much the same answers but perhaps a deeper, more clarifying look at those.

I don’t see a lot of votes changing from those who actually watched the debate but there were some notable moments which could be turned into ads that THEN might move the electorate.

This is what campaign consultants fear and desire about debates – there is so much on the line that they are just hoping and praying their candidate makes it out clean but also that the opponent creates an opening to exploit.

I predicted a tie, and on points it was just that. Therefore, given his strong first debate performance, Glenn Youngkin held serve by not losing. Terry McAuliffe was much better this time — less agitated and more at ease.

Princess Blanding, the Liberation Party candidate who has qualified for the ballot, disrupted the debate about ten minutes after kick off. Moderator Chuck Todd seemed unprepared for this and eventually went to commercial breaks. Continue reading

McAuliffe: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

by Shaun Kenney

Remember the old adage — the goal isn’t to win the debate, but to make sure you don’t lose the debate.

Former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe was pressed on graphic textbooks — and I mean graphic — of a sexual nature being included in government school libraries, and McAuliffe exploded with rage.

Not towards school districts, mind you — but towards busybody parents who had the audacity to look into what their children were actually being taught in the classroom.

That’s when McAuliffe decided to say the quiet part out loud:

That sound you heard last night was the simultaneous squealing of wheels on the mental pavement of a million Virginians. Continue reading