A week before Election Day 2021, President Joe Biden showed up in Virginia once more to campaign with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. While the president did indeed stump for McAuliffe before a crowd of about 2,500 people, he also spent significant portions of his remarks relitigating the 2020 election. In fact, according to Steven Nelson with the New York Post, Biden referenced “Trump” 24 times in his 17 minute speech.
As they did when Biden campaigned for McAuliffe in late July, members of the Arlington GOP were also present to share their views of the president.
Arlington Republicans welcoming Sleepy Joe and Low-Energy Terry! https://t.co/fNJ6R7I2cG
— Arlington GOP (@goparlington) October 26, 2021
Since his last campaign visit, Biden’s popularity has tanked in the commonwealth, as it has throughout the country. Even McAuliffe earlier this month acknowledged that “the president is unpopular today, unfortunately here in Virginia.”
When Biden did reference McAuliffe’s Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, it was also in connection to former President Donald Trump. “I ran against Donald Trump and Terry is running against an acolyte of Donald Trump,” Biden said.
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Towards his closing remarks, the president reminded the crowd that “extremism can come in many forms,” mentioning not only those who showed up to the Capitol on January 6, but Youngkin, in that “it can come in a smile and a fleece vest.” McAuliffe nodded and smiled as Biden referenced his opponent. “Either way, ‘the Big Lie’ is still ‘the Big Lie,’ Biden said.
McAuliffe and Biden have used that Youngkin considers election integrity to be a campaign priority as evidence to claim that Youngkin has questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election. As Youngkin has reaffirmed, including during an interview on “The Guy Benson Show,” Joe Biden did legitimately win the election.
Meanwhile, McAuliffe has repeatedly disputed that President George W. Bush was legitimately elected president in 2000. McAuliffe has also campaigned multiple times with failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who, since losing her race to Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018, continues to assert she had rightfully won the election. On Sunday, McAuliffe echoed Abrams’ claims.
The president took issue with how Trump is not coming to Virginia to campaign on McAuliffe’s behalf, asking “what is he trying to hide?” Youngkin has repeatedly said that Youngkin is campaigning for Youngkin.
Meanwhile, McAuliffe is announcing that a new Democrat will be campaigning on his behalf just about every day.
Youngkin, in an interview earlier this month, told Townhall that “down this stretch, what you’re going to see is Glenn Youngkin running for Virginians, you’re going to see me traveling everywhere, speaking to Virginians, and listening to Virginians, and you’re going to see Terry McAuliffe trying to bring in every single person outside of Virginia that he possibly can, to try to garner some support.”
Those who have campaigned on McAuliffe’s behalf have done so through not the most scrupulous means. For instance, in addition to campaigning in person for McAuliffe, a video message of Vice President Kamala Harris was played in churches explicitly telling parishioners to vote for McAuliffe, which is in clear violation of IRS rules.
Youngkin, meanwhile, has been able to attract similar crowd sizes when headlining campaign rallies as McAuliffe does with high-profile Democrats.
When Biden did mention McAuliffe, he did so by discussing campaign talking points that aren’t exactly as they seem. For instance, when it comes to the 200,000 jobs McAuliffe created when he was governor from 2014-2018? A thorough analysis by Kerry Picket of The Washington Times from earlier this month revealed that other states and other Virginia governors outperformed this figure.
Also towards the end of his remarks, President Biden, who still claims to this day that he ran for president in part to “restore the soul and decency in the country” and to “unite the country” denigrated Republicans by claiming “the Republican Party nationally is for nothing, not a joke, nothing.”
The president closed by imploring voters to “show up, show up like you did for Barack and me. Show up like you did for me and Kamala and show up for a proven leader like Terry McAuliffe” and to “vote early.”
When it comes to early voting though, it does not look like enough Democratic voters have headed the call. Townhall spoke with John Couvillon, a Louisiana based pollster and founder of JMC Analytics and Polling, who has also been studying the early voting numbers for 2021.
Biden can plead all he wants to, but the voter turnout is simply higher in a presidential election year than those which are not, especially when voter fatigue may be involved so soon afterwards.
While early voter turnout is expected to be down, it’s not expected to be this down.
On Tuesday, Couvillon told Townhall that “the data I show regarding early voting shows that while Democrats have in recent days closed the gap, overall early voting as of yesterday is 63% less than it was after a similar period of time in 2020.”
He explained there are three data points involved: an early voter enthusiasm gap, large Democratic counties not ‘punching their weight,’ and a tightening of polls which indicate an upset win for Youngkin is possible.