Joe Biden won Virginia with 54.11% of the vote in 2020, beating then-President Donald Trump, who came in with just 44%.
How bad was the thumping? That 10.11% winning margin was the largest for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1944, when Franklin D. Roosevelt beat Thomas Dewey 62.4% to 37.4%.
Even the Associated Press is pondering why McAuliffe — who has made Trump a central part of his campaign — is struggling.
“Internally, there is fear that they may have overestimated voters’ desire for an experienced politician. And some allies worry that McAuliffe’s hyper-focus on former President Donald Trump may not energize voters in the same way it did when he was in office,” the AP wrote.
In desperation, McAuliffe has called out the big guns to help him. Vice President Kamala Harris has campaigned for him and President Joe Biden on Tuesday made his second trip to the state in hopes of installing McAuliffe into the governor’s mansion once again.
Former President Barack Obama dropped by over the weekend, seeking to link Youngkin to Trump, saying the Republican candidate encourages “lies and conspiracy theories” about the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Either he actually believes in the same conspiracy theories that resulted in a mob, or he doesn’t believe it but he is willing to go along with it, to say or do anything to get elected. And maybe that’s worse … because that says something about character,” Obama said.
With just days to go before the gubernatorial election in Virginia, a reporter from a national mainstream media outlet asked McAuliffe a shocking question.
During an interview at a campaign stop, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl said to McAuliffe: “You’ve got Stacey Abrams in here, two visits by the president, a visit by the Former President Obama, a visit by the first lady, a visit by the vice president. Why all the — why do you need all the help?”
“Well,” McAuliffe said, “we did this last time. I mean, we did the same thing in ’13. I mean, we always bring them in. This is what — this is the biggest race in America. Who doesn’t want to be here?”
McAuliffe has gone so far as to admit that Biden could be a drag, what with rising inflation, soaring gas prices, and supply chain issues crushing the economy as he supports spending trillions more on infrastructure through his “Build Back Better” plan.
“We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington,” McAuliffe, a former head of the Democratic National Committee, said earlier this month. “As you know, the president is unpopular today, unfortunately, here in Virginia, so we’ve got to plow through.”
From many accounts, Republicans are jazzed.
“In the 2021 election’s closing days, one McAuliffe aide conceded Republicans are more excited about scoring a dramatic upset that would send a message to the country than Democrats are about preserving the status quo — especially as many polls suggest that voters believe the country is on the wrong track,” the AP wrote.
“A McAuliffe loss on Tuesday would reverberate across the national political landscape, likely triggering all-out panic among Democrats. For Republicans, it would be a burst of confidence and a roadmap for finding their way through post-Trump divisions ahead of 2022 midterm elections, which will decide control of Congress and dozens of state capitals,” the wire service added.
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