Democrats tried to stave off panic over the Virginia governor’s race on the final day of early voting — in a blue-state election now suddenly too close to call.
“Democrats are facing a DISASTER,” the Democratic Governors Association warned in a last-minute fundraising email that pointed to recent polls showing the party’s candidate, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, falling behind GOP newcomer Glenn Youngkin, just days ahead of the Nov. 2 election.
“We can’t let the GOP break the Democratic firewall in Virginia – because what happens there will lay the groundwork for 2022,” the message continued.
The two candidates’ plans of attack were evident on the campaign trail Saturday.
Youngkin, who has harnessed simmering parental anger over school COVID policies and race-based curriculum battles to gain ground among independent voters and disaffected Democrats, drew hundreds of supporters to a rally in Alexandria, one of the state’s bluest cities.
“This is about the values that Virginians hold dear,” the Republican told reporters. “I’ve had more people say, ‘I’ve never voted Republican before and I’m voting for you.’ We’ve got folks streaming across the aisle.”
Meanwhile, McAuliffe tried to shore up his base in Norfolk, where only 40 people turned up for a rally headlined by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.
“As of this morning, we have had over a million early votes,” McAuliffe reassured the sparse crowd. “We are substantially leading in the early vote.”