Virginia Governor’s Race Enters Final Weeks

Virginia Governor Race!.jpg

This Should Be Interesting...

Alec Bose

The gubernatorial race for Virginia is in full effect this month and candidates are doing their absolute best to prove that they are the best man for Virginia.

The Democratic candidate, Ralph Northam, appears to have a strong lead over his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie with the latest poll showing Northam up by 7 points with Northam receiving 49% support and Gillespie with 42%. 

Virginia’s off-year gubernatorial season is one that will provide an interesting glimpse into the coming future of party politics and how parties may fair in the 2018 midterms.  

It has already been a long, and relatively exciting campaign season with a spirited Democratic primary with challenger Tom Perriello bringing bolder and more progressive options into the conversation with many Virginia Democrats, and hardline Right Wing Firebrand Corey Stewart coming within inches of a historic upset in the Republican Primary. Stewart’s rise showed Virginia, and in fact the rest of the country, that the Trump’s brand of populist right-wing rhetoric still has many fans in deep pockets of America. 

The race has been gaining steam with current and former White House officials weighing in. President Trump gave his thought via Twitter, criticizing Northam for allegedly supporting the well-known MS-13 gang by protecting Sanctuary Cities. This in regards to a commercial aired by the Gillespie campaign attack the lieutenant governor for a tie-breaking vote on whether to ban sanctuary cities, in which Northam voted against this resolution. The legislation would be purely preemptive because, as many don’t know, Virginia has no sanctuary cities. 

The support of the president and the attempt to paint the Northam as a candidate soft on immigration and gang violence is more a Republican strategy to appeal to the base, a base that overwhelmingly supported Corey Stewart in the primary. If Stewart is an example of how volatile the Republican vote is in Virginia, a candidate who was down 30 points leading into the election, then the strategy could work. A needed strategy when you are trailing by as much as 13-points in some polls. 

The Democrats are not taking any chances with this lead, Northam has been endorsed by Virginia’s current governor Terry McAullife and has recently received the backing of former President Barack Obama who began campaigning for Lieutenant Governor this past week. 

The Republicans face an uphill battle in Virginia, as the state has increasingly voted blue in the last few elections. From 2 Democratic senators, a Democratic governor and in a state where Trump’s approval ratings have dipped 6 points and disapproval skyrocketing 12 points. 

PoliticsAlec Bose