In a governor race seen as an indicator for mid- mandates of 2022,the battle between Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin ignited over national cultural issues.
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Four of the five most expensive ads for the McAuliffe campaign were negative, with special emphasis on abortion. Credit ... Carlos Bernate for The New Yo rk Times
It's a long-held election mantra: All politics is local. But the wars in Virginia's race for governor indicate that national is the new normal.
In a contest seen as a barometer for the 2022 mid-sessions, the battle between Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and former state governor, and Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, took turns. more inflamed on the cultural issues that currently ignite national politics than on traditional points of tension such as national and local taxes.
At the top of the list of The most widespread in the race are the attacks on abortion (although there is no current law or contestation of the right to abortion.ent in Virginia) and schools (amid national curriculum debates, critical race theory and mask mandates).
In a costly race with in-person campaigns still limited by the pandemic, the national issues debated on the airwaves set the tone. The two contestants together spent more than $ 36 million on TV shows at just over $ 18 million each, according to AdImpact, an tracking company. Outside groups and super PACs have largely remained on the sidelines.
More than 60% of spending was spent on s with at least some comparisons or attacks negative, according to AdImpact.
Four of the five most expensive dollars for the McAuliffe campaign were negative, with onent particularly on abortion, an issue that skyrocketed national cs policy after Texas passed a new law that prohibits almost all abortions .
The campaign spent the most money on one of 60 seconds which captures a video on camera hidden recorded by a liberal activist who showed Youngkin openly worrying about losing "independent votes" on the issue, but promising to go "on the offensive" to restrict access to abortion if Republicans take also the state house. McAuliffe's campaign portrayed Youngkin as beholden to the conservative fringe of the Republican Party.
"Glenn Youngkin has been caught," a female narrative voice whispers in reports as the video fills the screen. "Video credit admitting his far-right agenda.
In another ad, the McAuliffe campaign highlights a doctor who claims that Youngkin's support for the limits of abortion "would hurt my patients" and that he is inserting politics into science and medicine, an echo of current criticisms of anti-vaccine and anti-mask movements.
Other national cleavages, such as voting rights , po lice cull and public health , play a central role in the McAuliffe campaign efforts to paint Youngkin with the patina of a Republican Trump ; over 75% of McAuliffe's s include attack or contrast with his opponent.
For the Youngkin campaign, one dominates rotation : An excerpt from a debate in September where McAuliffe said: "I don't think parents shouldtell schools what to teach. "The comment followed a row between the two candidates over a veto signed by McAuliffe as governor in 2017 of legislation that allowed parents not to allow their children to study material deemed sexually explicit.
Schools quickly rose to the fore of national political remains , with right-wing media embarking on a crusade against school mask mandates and critical race theory, and leading conservative pundits urging Republicans to focus on school board racing. Although McAuliffe's quote does not Not from the current struggle over schools, it quickly resonated. The Youngkin campaign spent over a million dollarsars at the.
Youngkin has a more balanced mix of positive and negative s, including many biographical announcements, highlighting his past as a college basketball player and a businessman, and presenting him as an outsider to political Virginia who can get things done.
But the disparity in the ratio between positive and negative announcements does not necessarily reflect one candidate on the rise or another on the defensive. Youngkin, who has spent most of his career in business, must continue to present himself to voters while trying to definer McAuliffe through negative s.
McAuliffe, a former governor who stepped down in 2018 the vote in safe over water , is a known quantity in the state, which prohibits governors from serving two consecutive terms. With little need for biographical announcements, McAuliffe's campaign has gone on the offensive more aggressively, including with more out-of-the-box national attack announcements on Taylor Swift's music rights .
In a small digital effort, the McAuliffe campaign bought s on Instagram , Facebook and Google who mwere worth the claim that the Carlyle group , which Youngkin led as co-managing director, helped fund the sale of the rights to their music.
An announcement ends with a nod to the lyrics of Swift :" Because Glenn , now we have bad blood. "
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