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McAuliffe battling lack of Dem enthusiasm as VA governor’s race tightens up

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(Video Credit: Fox News)

Democrats are evidently just not that into Terry McAuliffe in Virginia with only a week-and-a-half left before the gubernatorial election where he faces a deadlocked race with Republican Glenn Youngkin who appears now to stand a strong chance of winning.

The heat is on as McAuliffe’s popularity tanks and he struggles to break through his party’s perceived complacency in the state.

The enthusiasm deficit is a problem for the former governor, especially among black voters in the state. Even with Vice President Kamala Harris unethically running political ads every Sunday in over 300 black churches across the state, McAuliffe is still cratering in the polls. The first black governor in the state, Doug Wilder, ripped Harris for partisan political pandering in houses of worship.

“We need people to get out and vote. I cannot tell you how important it is,” a desperate McAuliffe told the media on Friday after he kicked off his “Get Out the Vote” bus tour.

Over half a million voters have already cast their ballots in the state during early voting ahead of the Nov. 2 election according to statewide data. McAulliffe is seeking to gin up support among Democrats and Independents.

“This is going to be the largest voter turnout of a non-presidential year in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he predicted.

Although that is exactly what Democrats are hoping for, it may not work in their favor after numerous political missteps by McAuliffe including dissing parents and saying they shouldn’t have input in what is taught to their children in public schools.

The race is being closely watched by politicos because it has national implications and is seen as a potential harbinger for the 2022 midterm elections.

The odds are not in McAuliffe’s favor for this race. The state has a long-running trend of defeating the gubernatorial nominee of the party that controls the White House. Having said that, McAuliffe was elected in 2013 when then-President Obama was reelected and held the White House.

It’s been a dozen years since Republicans have won statewide in Virginia. Biden ostensibly carried the state by 10 points in the last presidential election. Democrats are on pins and needles over this contest due to their razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate. A lot is at stake in 2022 for both parties. If Youngkin pulls it off and beats McAuliffe, the Democrats will devolve into a full-fledge panic ahead of the midterms.

The race is neck-and-neck at this point. Both McAuliffe and Youngkin are at 46 percent among likely voters according to the latest poll conducted Oct. 16-19. An average of all recent surveys still indicates that McAuliffe is leading by two points but that means it is now a margin of error race.

That’s a big change from the summer for McAuliffe. He held a mid-single-digit lead over Youngkin at that time. But that was before he made his comments about parents and schools, as well as repeatedly losing his temper.

The enthusiasm is now with Youngkin. The poll indicates an enthusiasm advantage among GOP voters. The poll shows that by a 79%-72% margin, Republicans are more motivated to vote than Democrats are in the election.

This has resulted in McAuliffe calling in the big political guns. Vice President Kamala Harris stumped for him and former President Obama is now on the trail for McAuliffe. President Biden is also expected to visit Virginia to ask Democrats to vote for the beleaguered Democrat although his ratings have also plummeted in the state. First lady Jill Biden campaigned with him a week ago, and Georgia’s voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams also hit the trail for McAuliffe last weekend.

David Richards, political science chair at the University of Lynchburg, noted that McAuliffe and Virginia Democrats “need that Hail Mary pass right now because if that doesn’t whip up enthusiasm, we’re looking at a very, very, close race at this point, so much so that if it rains on Election Day, it may be a deciding factor at this point.”

“Forty-year politician Terry McAuliffe and the Democratic party are running scared, so they are calling in these big-name politicians to try to drum up support and enthusiasm in places where Terry McAuliffe has none,” declared Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter, according to USA Today.

Looks like McAuliffe may be in big trouble against Youngkin:

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