McAuliffe fights to hire politically exhausted Democrats as Virginia campaign ends – .

McAuliffe fights to hire politically exhausted Democrats as Virginia campaign ends – .

“We need the Democrats to step up, energize themselves and bring this one home for us,” he pleaded with the Henrico County public. “People are counting on you. “

“The excitement is not there,” said Jim Gillespie, a 71-year-old retired mental health professional who attended the rally with his wife, Janis. “I don’t know if people are going to go out as much as they did last time. “

“I’m worried about this,” said Janis, a 68-year-old retired teacher. “I think there was so much passion for the presidential race, we felt so invigorated. … And I don’t feel like that right now. ”

McAuliffe tried to rally Democrats around the idea that all the energy they put into defeating Trump in 2020 – the Republican President lost Virginia by 10 points – is needed to defeat Youngkin.

“This race is about the next chapter of Virginia and our country,” McAuliffe said with a nod to this race as a guide for Democrats in the post-Trump era. “Glenn Youngkin has spent this entire campaign trying to be an aspiring Donald Trump. ”

But connecting those dots has been difficult for some voters, as evidenced by the fact that when Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Hala Ayala told the public that this election was “truly the most important election of our lives,” there were audible moans among the assembled Democrats. who heard the same thing less than a year ago.

“Virginia has an election every year and everyone tried so hard for the presidential election that I think people are tired,” said Ginny Bonner, a retiree from Henrico County. “We have had advertisements and political advertisements every year, all year round. We never have a break. ”

To get the kind of commitment he needs, McAuliffe – the accomplished political insider who has long functioned at the highest level of Democratic politics – called on the party’s heavyweights to boost participation.

“Today, Virginia, I ask you to vote for Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats on the ballot,” said First Lady Jill Biden. “We all need to come together, do our part, today and tomorrow and every day until Terry McAuliffe wins on November 2nd. We can do it, Virginia. ”

The first lady is only the beginning, however. On Sunday, Georgia’s top Democrats Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will gather with McAuliffe and other Virginia Democrats in Norfolk, Richmond and Northern Virginia, key areas for the party’s turnout operation . And former President Barack Obama will travel to the Commonwealth on October 23 to rally voters in Richmond.

It’s all aimed squarely at increasing Democratic participation in a race that appears to have overtaken some of the party’s voters, with a Democratic agent working in Virginia who recently told CNN that “if people don’t wake up we’re in trouble.” ”

Democrats in Virginia, aware of the enthusiasm issues, are hoping Republicans will be disengaged as well, meaning Virginia’s natural tilt will prevail in November.

Uvonda Cosby, a 53-year-old woman from Richmond, Va., Said she was particularly worried about the participation of black voters.

“In the areas where I come from, a lot of people don’t even know about (the election) even though they received the ballots in the mail,” Cosby said. Democrats in Washington, she added, are “out of sync” right now and “a lot of people have given up because Democrats aren’t fighting.”

Who is Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia?

As McAuliffe’s campaign leans on the National Democrats to vote, they are also looking to people like Jennifer Carroll Foy, a former Virginia House of Delegates member who backs McAuliffe after running against him in the Democratic primary, to activate their supporters and knock on doors across the Commonwealth.

According to Carroll Foy, it is essential to remind voters that just because Trump was defeated in 2020, “we are still feeling the full effects of decisions made by his administration” and are “not in a safe space yet.”

“The current climate we find ourselves in makes it difficult, overall, to talk to voters and excites them,” said Carroll Foy, noting that people are economically exhausted, with issues like Covid-19 “weighing heavily” on their shoulders.

This possible malaise gave Republicans in Virginia an opening. Although the state has ticked blue in recent years – Virginia last elected a Republican governor in 2009 and has been worn by Democrats in every presidential election since 2004 – history is on their side: since the 1970s Virginia governor winner election always came from the opposition party in the White House, except in 2013 when McAuliffe won his first term just a year after Barack Obama won his second term in the White House.

A Fox News poll this month found McAuliffe had a slim 51% lead over Youngkin, who took 46%.

Who is Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia?

Jessica Floyd, president of American Bridge, an organization that spent $ 2 million trying to involve voters in Virginia – especially suburban women – ahead of the November election, said it is up to Democrats to break this indifference.

“What we have seen over the past four years is exhausting for everyone. But especially when we see female voters, Democrats, Republican, Independents, they’re all exhausted, ”Floyd said. “They want to ignore politics. ”

Floyd’s organization, which began this work shortly after the June 8 primary in Virginia, particularly focused on how running depends on the popularity of Biden’s program and how essential it is. as groups like American Bridge and the McAuliffe Campaign tell how Democrats will deliver for them.

“Trump’s departure gave people room to breathe, but the presence of Trumpism (in this race) has forced all of us who make this argument to keep doing it,” she said. .

“The same fundamental chaos and the same threats to our democracy that so galvanized voters during the Trump era, it’s all there, just like the threats to women in particular… It’s about how best to do our job to do we make sure voters connect the dots? ”

McAuliffe, however, has been largely incapable of bragging about anything from Congress, with the legislature largely at a standstill in its deliberations on how to pass a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. dollars and a larger social spending bill, with moderates in the Senate pushing for the $ 3.5 bill. The price of a trillion dollars is way too high.

The lack of any upcoming legislation on Biden’s desk left McAuliffe exposed, leaving him ranting in Congress – “Quit your little chatter, do your job and quit the posture,” he recently told CNN – and stressed how critical it was to pass the two bills would be success in Virginia.

“It would certainly help,” said Rep. Don Beyer, who represents the affluent suburbs of Washington, DC. “I serve in the institution where (voters have) the lowest trust. … So anything that shows government can work, government can work bipartisan, Democrats can govern well, these are all good messages for Terry. “

He added: “I don’t think they are existentially essential, but they have to be useful. ”


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