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Monday, October 18, 2021
FairfaxOpinionEditorial: Will Biden travails propel Youngkin to success?

Editorial: Will Biden travails propel Youngkin to success?

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There was an instructive poll result reported in last week’s Falls Church News-Press newspaper.

The online (and therefore non-scientific but still illuminating) query had asked Falls Church-ians whether they thought the Afghanistan evacuation had been carried out successfully.

Despite the newspaper a week previous responding with rhapsody as to how great it believed the Biden administration had performed in the matter, readers disagreed: 78 percent of respondents felt the effort had been unsuccessfully conducted, only 20 percent said it was a success.

(Why 2 percent would go on an online poll to state they were “not sure” is a topic for another day. Ah, sweet mysteries of life!)

How does this relate to the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race? Because President Biden’s performance may – not will, necessarily, but may – end up becoming the unseen, unheard undercurrent among the electorate. That alone could be the reason why largely unknown Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin appears to be holding his own against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Biden’s recent tumble in job-approval ratings, coupled with his military-strongman-esque pronouncements on COVID mandates (we’ll see how he fares in court on those), may well be turning off moderates who will serve as the swing vote in the McAuliffe-Youngkin race. If Youngkin can capitalize on their disaffection with constructive messaging that converts them to his cause, he may pull out a victory. We’ll see.

It seems unlikely things will get better for President Biden between now and early November. A lot of issues are going to prove problematic, and while it’s hard to take seriously a political leader who has restored the word “feckless” to the national lexicon, his obnoxious haranguing of all who opt to disagree with him is a big turnoff to those who hold the old-fashioned notion that politicians work for us, not the other way around.

There’s a reason Democrats in Northern Virginia and urban areas downstate are pushing people to cast ballots ASAP once early voting opens on Friday – they want to make sure those presumably pro-Democratic votes are in hand before an increasing number of voters take a second look and change their minds.

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