Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe recently admitted to surrogates on a video teleconference call that President Biden is “unpopular” in the Commonwealth ahead of a close election next month.
“We have to get the Democrats out to vote,” McAuliffe said on the call. “We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington.
“As you know, the president is unpopular today, unfortunately, here in Virginia,” McAuliffe continued. “So, we have to plow.”
The soundbite was posted on Twitter by the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Monday evening. The McAuliffe campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Polls show a tight race between McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, who served as governor of Virginia between 2014 and 2018, and Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. The latest RealClearPolitics average shows McAuliffe enters the final month of the race with a 4.3 percentage point lead over Youngkin.
Republicans have not won a gubernatorial election in Virginia since Bob McDonnell achieved the feat in 2009. But the GOP hopes that faltering performances from state and national Democrats could boost Youngkin’s campaign.
A poll conducted in September by the Washington Post and the Sharr School of Policy and Government at George Mason University found that 46 percent of registered Virginia voters approved of Biden’s job performance, while 51 percent disapproved. The same poll gave outgoing Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam a mixed review, with 48 percent of registered voters approving of his job performance and 45 percent disapproving.
News of the vote did not go down well for the president, as a Quinnipiac poll released on Wednesday gave him a record-low approval rating of 38 percent.
“The people of Virginia are rejecting Joe Biden,” RNC Rapid Response director Tommy Piggott tweeted Monday night. “And just as Virginia is rejecting Biden, voters will reject McAuliffe in November!”
McAuliffe had his own problems on the campaign trial. She was strongly criticized after she said in a debate last week, “I don’t think parents should tell schools what they should teach” in response to Youngkin, who argued that parents should be told by local school districts. should be more involved in the decisions of
The issue of governing local schools has taken center stage nationally after the Justice Department announced Monday that the FBI would respond to an alleged uptick in threats against public school administrators and staff in recent months. Critics say the move is meant to criminalize dissent by parents on issues such as mask mandates and critical race theory.