With three weeks to go before the Democratic Party primary on June 8th, former Virginia Governor and Clinton confidante Terry McAuliffe transitioned his campaign to the general election with a series of social media posts attacking Republican gubernatorial nominee, Glenn Youngkin.
On the heels of the Youngkin announcement, McAuilffe blasted his Republican opponent by tweeting, “Let me introduce you to Glenn Youngkin: Glenn’s a Ted Cruz and Corey Stewart-endorsed, self-funding, Big Lie believing Trump loyalist who’ll stop at nothing to advance the GOP’s extreme agenda.
“What he’s definitely not? The next Governor of Virginia. I’ll make sure of that.”
Let me introduce you to Glenn Youngkin: Glenn's a Ted Cruz and Corey Stewart-endorsed, self-funding, Big Lie believing Trump loyalist who'll stop at nothing to advance the GOP's extreme agenda.
What he’s definitely not? The next Governor of Virginia. I'll make sure of that.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) May 11, 2021
Out of the past 31 tweets, the former Democratic National Committee Chairman attacked his opponent 14 times. McAuliffe also released an attack ad calling Donald Trump a “stain on our democracy” and attacked Youngkin for being endorsed by the former President.
Two recent polls, one from Christopher Newport University and the other from Public Policy Polling, found McAuliffe is the undisputed frontrunner by a wide margin for the Democatic Party nomination for governor.
Consensus among political watchers from the debate held in early May was that the Democratic field which include Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), Delegate Lee Carter (D-Prince William County), and former Delegate Jennifer Caroll Foy (D-Prince William) was unimpressive.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Virginia made headlines with their unassembled convention May 8, where Republicans nominated the most diverse and well-funded ticket in the history of the Commonwealth.
Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) clinched the Attorney General nomination, former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-Winchester) was picked for Lieutenant Governor, and former Carlyle Group CEO Glenn Youngkin was nominated to be Governor. Youngkin is the most well funded candidate in Virginia history, with his net worth being valued at $254 million dollars. Delegate Sears is the first African American woman to be elected to the General Assembly. Delegate Miyares has served in the General Assembly for six years and over-preforms in a swing district.
Virginia, we have a ticket that can win. So grateful to be with @JasonMiyaresVA & @WinsomeSears at the Beach Suburban Republican Women’s Club. Together, we’re uniting our party and our Commonwealth around a new vision that can win this November. pic.twitter.com/LkARRac8iQ
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) May 12, 2021
Glenn Youngkin accepted the Republican nomination for Governor on Tuesday night with a large and raucous crowd in Richmond. The Republican nominee released multiple advertisements and appeared on major news networks throughout the week.
My mission as governor is simple: make Virginia the best place to secure a job, the best place to start a business, and the best place to dream a dream and go get it. This is our chance for Virginians to unite over shared values and forge a new path for our great Commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/BWA71Dn1T0
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) May 13, 2021
History has shown McAuliffe a poor campaigner. He lost his first gubernatorial primary in 2009, and barely won his general election campaign in 2013.
In 2009, the former Clinton fundraiser lost to a lesser-funded State Senator Criegh Deeds (D-Bath). McAuliffe only received 84,640 votes in the primary, and spent $68.25 per vote.
McAuliffe ran again in the 2013 gubernatorial race and won by less than 3 percentage points, outspending his opponent by $13 million dollars. In post-mortems written after the 2013 race, both The Washington Post and Politico were confused by the election results. Politico cited that a few of the reasons that McAuliffe won was because of the poorly-funded campaign of then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the 2013 government shutdown.
Prior to the election, 62% of voters in a Politico poll said they did not support the 2013 government shutdown, and 44% of those voters broke for McAuliffe in the closing days of the election.
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Matt Colt Hall is a reporter for The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattColtHall on Twitter. Send tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Mike Fonseca CC2.0