Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Virginia gubernatorial race is in its home stretch as the polls show the race tightening. Does Republican Glenn Youngkin have enough time to close the gap with Democrat (and former governor) Terry McAuliffe? Or will the Nov. 4 election solidify Virginia’s place as a dependable Democratic stronghold?
I suppose, in the hoary cop-out of political reporters, that it all depends on turnout: i.e., which side is more successful in turning out its ideological base. Right now, the RealClearPolitics polling average shows McAuliffe with a 2.2-percentage-point lead. McAuliffe must be worried, however, because every day he portrays Youngkin as a right-wing clone of Donald Trump, which is an obvious stretch. McAuliffe also asserts, in both ads and interviews, that Youngkin is “an anti-vaxxer” who has pledged to “ban abortion in Virginia,” assertions that are simply untrue.
A more accurate and precise criticism of Glenn Youngkin is that he is a political cipher who is offering opaque answers to some pressing policy questions in an attempt to keep Trump’s voters in the Republican column while not alienating moderate Republicans or independents. The result is that two weeks before Election Day (and the polls have been open for a month) Virginians don’t really know what kind of governor Youngkin would make, as he’s never held elective office before and hasn’t really been active in party politics. Two weeks from today, we’ll find out if he even gets the chance.
With that, I’d direct you to our front page, which aggregates, as it does each day, an array of columns and stories spanning the political spectrum. We also offer a complement of original material from RCP’s reporters and contributors, including the following:
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Trump to Headline “America First” Policy Summit. Phil Wegmann has the details.
Can Third Parties Make a Difference in 2024? In the second part of his series, Andrew E. Busch considers ideas proffered by Andrew Yang and Jonah Goldberg.
WH to Dems: Pass the Plan, But Zip It on the Cost. Matt Weidinger highlights a strategy change as polls show Americans are concerned about the price tag of the “human infrastructure” proposal.
Conference on “National Conservativism” Returns. RealClearPolicy editor Bill Zeiser previews the event, scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
SAFE Banking Act: A Needed Step in Pot Legalization Process. Also at RCPolicy, Jeffrey Miron writes that the legislation would give some autonomy back to the states regarding marijuana policy, and set the stage for full federal legalization.
World Bank Erred in Halting Its “Doing Business” Report. At RealClearMarkets, A.J. Skiera argues that the decision eliminated one of the most effective means of encouraging the adoption and preservation of liberal democratic institutions.
Congress Should Say No to IRS Power Grab. Also at RCMarkets, Patrick Hedger decries a bill mandating the agency prepare tax filings on behalf of all Americans.
Kremlin Fears Social Media. At RealClearWorld, Ivana Stradner asserts that Vladimir Putin’s efforts to curb platforms’ influence could backfire and heighten Russian young people’s dissatisfaction with the regime.
Self-Enforced Censorship at Pennsylvania Colleges. At RealClearEducation, Michael Torres spotlights rankings of Keystone State schools as determined by the College Free Speech survey, and cites feedback that students, not administrators, are doing the muzzling.
Sanitation and Public Restrooms. RealClearScience editor Ross Pomeroy reports on a study of bacterial hotspots.
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Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics