It is election year in Virginia. This weekend the Republican Party holds their convention to select statewide candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. For the gubernatorial nomination, it’s already clear that the key issues are 1) fealty to Donald Trump, and 2) who is more anti-immigrant.
In early March, Pete Snyder, whose campaign is co-chaired by Ken Cuccinelli among others, launched an ad with an anti-immigrant message, featuring images of “violent illegals” that have appeared in GOP ads for the past few years. He also recently touted the endorsement of “the leaders of Trump’s immigration team.”
Then there’s State Senator Amanda Chase. She is Virginia’s version of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump wrapped into one extremist. Other top candidates are executive Glenn Youngkin, who was endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Delegate Kirk Cox, who served as Speaker of the House of Delegates until Democrats took control in the 2019 elections.
Will nativism in Virginia work? Hell no.
- Corey Stewart ran for Senate against Tim Kaine in 2018 as a Trumpian hardliner in 2018 and lost by 16 points.
- Ed Gillespie ran for governor against Ralph Northam in 2017 as a Trumpian hardliner and lost by 9 points.
- Polling released this week by Christopher Newport University shows strong support for a path to citizenship for immigrants among Virginia voters.
For more, see a new article on the America’s Voice blog, available here.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, the Virginia GOP is clearly insane. The dog-whistle attacks on immigrants may work in a statewide convention dominated by Trump cult members, but they are a loser in general elections.
Virginia used to be a red state. Now it’s a blue state. The Virginia GOP used to win congressional seats in the suburbs. Now it loses them all. The Virginia GOP is popular in rural Virginia, but it has lost the cities and the suburbs. One of the main reasons is that the GOP just can’t quit the racism and xenophobia demanded by its base.
Virginia’s off-year statewide races are often viewed as a bellwether of national politics. If so, we will see how far the GOP sinks into its sewer of white supremacy, conspiracy theories and nativism, and how that translates to statewide races.
Virginia’s multiracial majority is not having it.