The 2017 Virginia Gubernatorial Election has brought upon the Commonwealth a sort of an anti-2016 atmosphere. Two level-headed candidates are, for the most part, cordial to each other as they spar on the debate stage. Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee is consistently polling just ahead or within the margin of error of four to six points.
However, these polls do not reflect a disturbing degree of voter contempt for Democratic nominee, the current Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Mr. Northam, a former physician from a portion of Virginia’s rural coastline with a grandfatherly southern draw, seems to care only for the folks in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, and Norfolk. The math for the Democrats is simple; all Mr. Northam has to do is win more than 70% of these aforementioned areas, and he skips off to the Governor’s mansion.
The problem with this strategy is that it simply is not reachable, due to former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie’s very strong opposition campaign. Northam’s delusion has driven him to completely lose sight of rural Democrats and entirely focus on the suburban areas of Washington, D.C. as well as the minority heavy districts in the Norfolk-Hampton Roads area.
While Mr. Gillespie hits the road and travels to every corner of the Commonwealth, Mr. Northam flies in his helicopter from liberal outpost to liberal outpost, ignoring large swaths of rural Democrats, which prompted the temporary resignation of a Democrat County Chairman citing lack of attention from his party back in Richmond.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Virginia because of the 144,000 votes she received from Democrats who lived in the rural areas outside of the Northern Virginia, Norfolk, and Richmond axis. Should Northam not capitalize on Hillary’s success, he could be in real trouble and, at this point in time, it doesn’t look like he wants to put in the effort to win rural votes.
Mr. Northam should be concerned with several new developments in the past few weeks. After losing a sheriff’s endorsement in Middlesex County to Mr. Gillespie, Governor McAuliffe canceled the Virginia Sheriffs’ Forum. Furthermore, the influential Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce endorsed Ed Gillespie. Please take into note that they endorsed Terry McAuliffe back in 2013.
To add to this, there is an ongoing exposé of the fact that Mr. Northam did not once attend a meeting of the Rural Virginia Board, a committee which attends to quality of life issues of rural communities across the state. While Mr. Northam claims to care about the issues affecting these communities on his website, his actions (or lack thereof) with the Rural Board seem to state otherwise.
Mr. Northam has also received millions of dollars in donations from Planned Parenthood, Everytown USA (a Michael Bloomberg front-group for gun control), National Education Association, and many other powerful special interest groups. The point is, Ralph Northam will not be a governor for all Virginians. Instead, he will be a governor for the monied interests who have donated vast sums of money to his campaign, and liberal cronies in Washington D.C.
Ralph Northam is the product of a Democratic party machine that is rotten to its very core. He is an underwhelming crony capitalist offering little more than hollow promises, and has even less enthusiasm amongst voters than Hillary Clinton did last year. Northam is running on expectations that he is Hillary Clinton part two. The problem is that Ed Gillespie is not Donald Trump. Ralph Northam is on cruise control, and that may very well cost him in November.