Biden, Pelosi, Schumer fueling Youngkin surge in Virginia showdown, conservative leader says

Fox News poll of Virginia shows Glenn Youngkin up eight points on Terry McAuliffe

Former candidate for Virginia State Senate Ron Meyer gives his analysis as the election nears

EXCLUSIVE: The political arm of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the powerful conservative and libertarian political advocacy group, is putting on a full-court press to get out the vote in next week’s gubernatorial showdown in Virginia — an election with plenty of national implications ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

And the head of AFP, who is leading the group’s charge in the commonwealth, says that the “shocking and eye-opening” moves by President Biden and the Democrats who control Congress have been fueling the rise in support for GOP gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin, as he faces off Tuesday against former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

While the Youngkin and McAuliffe campaigns as well as super PACs and other outside groups have shelled out big bucks to flood the airwaves in the final stretch ahead of Election Day, Americans for Prosperity Action is knocking on doors across the state to make sure conservative voters will cast ballots and to try and persuade swing voters.

Longtime AFP president Tim Phillips told Fox News on Friday in an exclusive interview that they’ve got “well over 100 people deployed here from our best field staff across the country and they’re joining our permanent staff in Virginia and a large number of volunteers.”

Phillips said his team is concentrating on two groups of people. One is “people we’re confident if they vote, they’ll vote for Glenn Youngkin, but they’re infrequent voters, especially in these off year elections….it’s more of a persuasion to make sure they vote.”

He said the second group – located mostly in the suburbs – are “swing voters who haven’t voted yet, in early balloting, but are going to vote. Their vote history is across the board. For them, With them it’s about doing the last minute persuasion that Glenn Youngkin is a guy they can feel comfortable with and trust and be proud to vote for.”

Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states to hold gubernatorial contests in the year after a presidential election, ensuring they get outsized attention from coast to coast. And there’s a long-running trend of voters in the commonwealth defeating the gubernatorial nominee of the party that controls the White House. McAuliffe broke with that tradition in 2013 with his election as governor in the year after President Barack Obama was reelected. McAuliffe was unable to run for reelection in 2017 because Virginia governors are barred from serving two straight terms.

While New Jersey is a predominantly blue state, Virginia remains very competitive and is seen as a key bellwether ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The close contest for governor has national Democrats on edge as they defend their razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in next year’s contests. If Youngkin defeats McAuliffe, there will be a surge in Democratic anxiety regarding their fate in the midterms.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin delivers remarks at a campaign event in the parking lot of Vito’s Pizza Bar and Grill on Oct. 28, 2021 in Amherst, Virginia. 
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

A Fox News poll in Virginia conducted this week indicates Youngkin holding an eight-point lead over McAuliffe. The other five most recent polls indicate the race is deadlocked or virtually tied between the two candidates.

Phillips and his AFP team spent a couple of weeks in Georgia at the end of last year and at the beginning of January, in a similar get-out-the-vote effort in the Peach State’s twin Senate runoffs. The Democrats narrowly swept both of those elections, giving them the majority in the Senate.

Asked the difference between then and now – when virtually every poll indicates a GOP edge in enthusiasm in Virginia – Phillips pointed to two differences.

“These swing voters and infrequent conservative and Republican voters, they now have seen nine months of Biden, Schumer, Pelosi control and what it can do with regard to inflation, with regard to their schools, with regard to how this country is being run, this top down almost socialistic approach. I think it’s been shocking and eye-opening to them. That’s the biggest difference,” Phillips argued.

And he added that “the second difference is Glenn Youngkin is someone with a great vision. He’s not a politician. He’s a business person. He’s not a caricature of some Republican candidate that they don’t like.”

Phillips, who lives in Northern Virginia’s Loudon County, stressed that “in this election, the state of K-12 education is probably the most important issue along with inflation… that inflation issue is eating at Virginians and Americans. They feel it across the board.”

He predicted that “those are the twin issues that will propel Youngkin to victory on Tuesday.”

President Joe Biden speaks at a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, in Arlington, Va. McAuliffe will face Republican Glenn Youngkin in the November election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP )

Polls indicate that former President Donald Trump, who lost the commonwealth by 10 points to Biden in last November’s presidential election, remains unpopular in the state with a majority of voters. And McAuliffe has made linking Youngkin to Trump a key part of his campaign’s strategy.

But Phillips argued that “I don’t think the former president has played much of a role” in the race.

He charged that McAuliffe’s strategy “I think it just sounds tone deaf to a lot of Virginians I’m talking to….They’re talking about inflation, they’re looking at a meltdown in their public schools, and here’s a guy talking about the last president of the United States, who isn’t in office anymore. It just sounds tone deaf to people in where they are in their everyday lives.”

Source: Read Full Article