Power of anti-Trump resistance in question in Virginia race

2017-10-28 22:18
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Richmond - Virginia's gubernatorial election stands as a test for the anti-Donald Trump resistance and whether it can energise voters and donors for the less glamorous races featuring traditional Democratic politicians.

The November 7 contest pits Democratic Lt Governor Ralph Northam, a physician, Army veteran and former state senator, against Ed Gillespie, onetime aide to President George W Bush and former head of the Republican Party. The current governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, is term-limited.

The stakes in Virginia are immense: Though Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the state by five percentage points in 2016, Republicans typically are more likely to turn out in off-year statewide elections. Northam has led in most polls, but the race is close.

Political rally

A loss would be devastating after Democrats failed to capture any GOP-held seats in contested special congressional elections earlier this year that galvanised anti-Trump activists.

The next Virginia governor also will have a major say in the state's next congressional redistricting. A Republican wave in statehouse elections around the country in 2010 - just prior to the last redistricting - has helped the GOP maintain a firm grip on the House.

Former President Barack Obama highlighted the importance of the Virginia race last week at his first large political rally since leaving office, urging Democrats not to get "a little sleepy" in the off-year election.

"I think that it's great that you hashtag and meme," the former president told a crowd in Richmond, "but I need you to vote".

Not as engaged

Northam bested former Rep Tom Perriello, a populist favourite of the resistance who was backed by Senator Bernie Sanders, in the Democratic primary.

Sanders' political operation, Our Revolution, recently endorsed six Democrats running for the state House of Delegates, but did not endorse Northam. Diane May, a spokesperson for the group, said it can only endorse candidates recommended by local members and none in Virginia recommended Northam.

Some activists say it's obvious that the liberal wing of the party isn't as engaged in the governor's race.

"We absolutely want to see them win, but that's the difference between inspiring and driving a Democratic base to get out there for you and someone who you just want to win," said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the group Democracy For America. "If he doesn't win, this will be why".


Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.