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Progressives Rip McAuliffe, Cry Racism Following Dem Losses in Virginia

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Following Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s shocking loss to Republican Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday, the former Old Dominion governor took heat from an unexpected group of critics.

In a statement, a coalition of progressive groups blasted McAuliffe for running what they deemed a lackluster campaign, as well as the Washington, D.C., Democratic establishment for backing him.

Battle Born Collective, Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement and United We Dream Action said in their statement that McAuliffe’s “shellacking” should be a “wake up call for Democrats” moving into the 2022 election cycle:

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“We told you so. Literally. What happened in Virginia is what happens when Democrats fail to take on the GOP’s divide-and-conquer racism and motivate people to turn out,” the groups said.

“The McAuliffe campaign had no comprehensive pro-worker economic message against a literal private equity magnate. It had no positive message on what the next four years would be like for Virginians. It had no rebuttal to Republican race-baiting bulls**t. Put simply: it was a campaign designed to fail,” the groups added.

“Terry McAuliffe ran the milquetoast campaign he wanted to run—where every other word he uttered was ‘Donald Trump’ instead of focusing on the issues voters cared about the most. The DC establishment consolidated support behind their one-time rainmaker and in doing so sidelined two potentially history-making Black women running for the same office,” the statement continued.

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“There should be no questions or scapegoats about why specific demographics didn’t turn out. Terry McAuliffe offered an uninspired return to yesterday, while voters were focused on what must come next,” the groups added.

“This was a controlled experiment for what NOT to do in 2022. This is what it looks like when Democrats get caught flat-footed and let Republicans dictate the terms of the debate by manufacturing a fake ‘education crisis,'” the statement said, though voters tended to disagree regarding the education issue.

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“It does not have to be this way. There is still time to adopt an inclusive economic message that crowds out racist dog whistles. There is still time to go on offense and fight for the very voters who powered Democratic victories in 2020,” they said.

“This should be a wake up call for Democrats: Give people something to vote for or watch yourselves become the very thing they resoundingly vote against.”

Earlier reporting noted that Youngkin’s victory was secured by Tuesday evening late, though McAuliffe did not formally concede until mid-morning on Wednesday.

“Youngkin led by just over two points when the Associated Press called the race early Wednesday, buoyed by record turnout in rural areas and an energized Republican base. He trailed McAuliffe in nearly every poll up until the final days of the race, when late momentum gave him the slimmest of leads in a state that President Joe Biden won by over 10 points just a year ago,” the Daily Caller noted.

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Conservative Brief reported the results Tuesday evening.

Though the two did not campaign together, former President Donald Trump endorsed Youngkin and took some of the credit for his victory in a statement.

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“I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin. Without you, he would not have been close to winning. The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before. Glenn will be a great governor,” Trump noted.

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