David Avella: Virginia is the starting line to defeating Democrats in 2022

McAuliffe has not shown an ability to understand or relate to Democratic voters who seem to have little to no motivation to get to the polls

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The upcoming election in Virginia could offer the latest example that President Biden’s growing disapproval is putting Democratic candidates at a deficit. 

Democratic voters are not getting the full-progressive, more-government agenda that they elected President Biden and Congressional Democrats to achieve. In turn, their frustrations mount and their interest in voting wanes. 

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The Watson Center at Christopher Newport University found in results from its final survey before Election Day: "Republicans are increasingly more enthusiastic about voting, with 80% of Republican likely voters indicating they are very enthusiastic, compared to 65% of Democrats. That 15-point enthusiasm advantage was only 6 points in our October 8 survey (61% to 55%)."  

The result is a contest that is dead-even with former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe at 49% percent to Republican Glenn Youngkin at 48 % plus another one percent undecided. The contests for the other two statewide elections were also reported as statistically tied. 

It is not surprising that the Watson Center reported independent voters favoring Youngkin 51% to 44% while 97% of Republicans support him. It’s worth noting that that number is up from 90 % in early October. 

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President Biden and Congressional Democrats consistently say to Americans that higher taxes are the only answer. One more government program will solve their problems. One more government regulation will make life fair. Americans are selfish to expect desirable products and services be available. And they even have the nerve to assert that inflation did not come from Democratic policies. 

But telling voters that they are the problem and to expect less has never been a formula for electoral success.

McAuliffe has done his share to offend and lose voters. First, it is not easy for McAuliffe—who rose through the ranks with the Clintons—to win the love of a Democratic Party largely in lock step with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. 

McAuliffe has not shown an ability to understand or relate to Democratic voters who seem to have little to no motivation to get to the polls. 

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Second, when McAuliffe uses the words of today’s Democratic elites in an attempt to connect with voters, independents and less ideological voters begin to question his commitment to their needs. 

Take for example, McAuliffe’s now infamous and bizarre quip: "I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." 

When pushed to explain, he first doubled down, then marched out of an interview when questioned about it, and is now whining he was taken out of context. 

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Third, when McAuliffe was first elected governor of Virginia, he utilized former President Bill Clinton’s style of campaigning—swinging like a pendulum and going in whatever direction is needed at the moment to garner the most votes. 

In this election, his approach is closer to Hillary Clinton’s style of campaigning. The former governor comes across as entitled and untrustworthy. For many voters, that was and still is a complete turn off.

Recent messaging suggests that Democrats are determined to continue digging deeper into their old playbook. McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats mention former President Trump at every turn. 

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President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker are campaigning in Virginia to plead with progressive voters to cast their ballots. 

Democrats are so desperate that even former President Obama was put on the campaign trail to make outrageous and unsubstantiated claims about Republicans trying to suppress the vote. 

Given President Obama’s shaky record with endorsing candidates, Republicans might want to buy tickets to bring him back. In 2020, only two out of the nine candidates whom the former president endorsed won statewide executive office.

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On Election night, political analysts will use multiple statewide, regional and local indicators to forecast whether momentum will earn the Republican Party historic victories. Here is one to remember. 

Watch the results for Republican state House candidate Tanya Gould, a survivor of human trafficking, mother of three, and grandmother of four. The Virginia Beach area is the Commonwealth’s most politically competitive. Gould is actively campaigning and has raised more than $330,000 in a district represented by a Republican as recently as 2016. The Democratic incumbent won in 2019 by a 9-point margin. 

A victory by Gould will mean Republicans are winning in areas lost over the last decade and within reach of earning all three statewide offices plus double-digit gains in the state House.

A victory for Gould on election night will mean that Republicans are winning in areas lost over the last decade and are within reach of earning all three statewide offices in Virginia plus racking up double-digit gains in the State House.

Republicans must push forward. 

We must keep educating voters on the bumbling decisions and bad policies of President Biden and the Democrats, while at the same time advancing ideas to make voters’ lives easier, safer, and better. 

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Virginia could prove to be the starting line for Republicans on an electoral trail through much easier states like Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. 

At the finish line is a GOP majority both in the U.S. Senate and the House in 2022. 

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