Virginia election will test Democratic coalition
Democrats, and activists in particular, are tired after four years of conscientiously knocking on doors and begging foreigners to Please vote. Marianne Burke, a 67-year-old retiree who heads Democratic group Fairfax Indivisible, has noticed a marked decline in volunteer engagement since Biden’s victory. In February, she struggled to convince group members to help her send postcards reminding Virginians to register to vote, and she had to write hundreds herself. She understands: “There is no such urgency. You don’t wake up in the morning and say, My god what [Trump] going to do today?“she told me.” I’m cautiously optimistic “that Democrats will come together in time to help Democrats win in November,” she added. “But it’s so nice not to have to s’ worry constantly… so I can understand why they wouldn’t want it. ” Michael Zuckerman, a 70-year-old professor at George Washington University, told me he was worried about his fellow Democratic voters. Their work “has made a difference, and we must continue,” Zuckerman said, after that we met at the park for the Gooditis event. He has volunteered for the Democratic candidates since 2016. “We almost lost democracy, and I’m not sure we made it out of the woods.”
Some breeds from northern Virginia, like Gooditis, might be related. (She’s running unopposed in next month’s primary; her Republican opponent, Nick Clemente, is already outraged her.) Republicans also stand a chance of winning at least a few seats near Richmond and Virginia Beach. At the state level, the gubernatorial race between Republican Glenn Youngkin and a soon-to-be-appointed Democrat could go both ways, election analysts told me. (Former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is the frontrunner.) Youngkin can win if the Democratic turnout in November is low and if he can win the support of a few of the commuters who couldn’t stand Trump.
Persuading them shouldn’t be difficult, argues Tom Davis, a former GOP lawmaker in Virginia, as Youngkin, the former CEO of private equity firm Carlyle Group, appeals to suburban sensitivities. “It’s Stanford Business School; he has an educational pedigree, ”Davis told me. “He speaks their language.” John Chamberlain, a 64-year-old software salesman from Great Falls, Northern Virginia, is a registered Republican who voted for Biden in 2020. But “it was more of a vote against Trump,” he told me. -he says. “I still believe the Democrats are missing something.” Chamberlain likes Youngkin’s business experience and plans to vote for him over the Democrat in November.
State Democrats plan to defend their progress to commuters by talking as much as possible about Trump and Trumpism. At a press conference in Alexandria last week, party leaders pointed out that Donald Trump had endorsed Youngkin. They called the Virginia Republican Party the “Virginia Trump Party” and cautioned voters against supporting the “Trump-Youngkin agenda.” At the end of the ballot, Gooditis is ready to defend against negative ads by reminding voters of the events of January 6. “It’s very easy for us to say, ‘Yeah, but they backed the guy who told people to attack the US Capitol. So who are you going to listen to? “, She says.