Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, left, and Republican challenger, Glenn Youngkin, participate in a debate at Northern Virginia Community College, in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
By Wayne Dawkins
Special to the AFRO
Regarding the Nov. 2 Virginia elections, what should be a predictable outcome is a toss-up. Glenn Youngkin, a Donald Trump acolyte with a handsome, smiling face, is deadlocked with a former governor who has a proven record of delivering robust economic development during his 2013-2017 term.
Furthermore, McAuliffe has engaged in Black community outreach that models what my congregation likes to call “radical hospitality.”
One out of every five Virginians is African American. The former capital of the Confederacy has shed much of its gray legacy, unlike Texas, Georgia, and Florida, which has re-upped for the latest download of Jim Crow.
Some credible polls report that Younkin has a razor-thin advantage among likely voters over the incumbent McAuliffe, a seasoned politician who works smoothly with fellow Democrats and civilly with Republican adversaries.
So what is wrong? Shouldn’t this election be a projected blowout?
Was it a soundbite about education during one of the two debates? In Loudoun County, a flashpoint community regarding schooling, and one of the debate venues?
Is it the faux fears about Critical Race Theory? CRT comes up in classrooms at Harvard or Yale law school, not in any K-12 classroom, but that has not stopped fear mongers from insisting that any re-examination of American race relations is CRT.
Is it voter fatigue?
Pundits have said that after the strenuous effort to jettison the Capitol insurrection-instigating, Russian-colluding, twice-impeached 45th president, Democratic Party voters, already weary of the covid-19 pandemic have nothing left in the tank. They are not feeling having to get up and pull levers again, especially during an off-election year.
However, as No. 44, Barack Obama, said at a weekend rally in Richmond, this is no time to be tired.
Beware of gregarious Glenn, the Trump Trojan horse.
He and the GOP want to win Virginia badly because these victories should weaken the Joe Biden presidency and probably win back the House of Representatives where Democrats hold a vapor-slim majority.
While Democrats have sent Obama, Biden, Kamala Harris, and Stacey Abrams visited Virginia to plead with voters to cast ballots early or show up at the polls, Trump wisely has stayed out of the commonwealth. The Donald is so radioactive he could turn off the many conservative independents who would rather not choose a Democrat.
Last governor’s race, Trump goaded an experienced GOP partisan to sling Trumpian mud and that candidate was spanked by Ralph Northam, a country doctor from the Eastern Shore region. Northam even survived a bizarre “blackface” scandal early in his term, which shows how much Virginia has changed.
Will Virginia sleep through election day and reopen the door to mean-spirited, bi-polar-like policymaking, or will enough people show up and continue thoughtful and rational politics even when there are inevitable disagreements?
Wayne Dawkins is a writer, and a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.
We will know after the votes are counted Tuesday.
The writer is a professor of professional practiced at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.
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