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Compare and Contrast: Closing Arguments on Education from Youngkin vs. McAuliffe in Virginia

In case you missed my tweets embedded in Spencer’s post last night, I spent the last evening of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign in Loudoun County at Glenn Youngkin’s final rally. Youngkin flew in from Virginia Beach, where he’d just addressed a crowd of more than 2,000 in a place where Democrat Terry McAuliffe decided to cancel his own event at the last minute. The Republican drew around 1,500 in Loudoun, in my rough estimation, in a county that Joe Biden carried by 25 points one year ago. Youngkin’s campaign believes they have made Loudoun competitive in this election. Elections guru Dave Wasserman calculates that Youngkin needs to pull low-to-mid-40’s in the jurisdiction in order to remain on track to win statewide. What struck me most about Youngkin’s tight, honed stump speech was the reaction he elicited from the crowd on education. It was the most enthusiastic and visceral issue. After pledging that Virginia schools will not face any additional systemic COVID shutdowns on his watch, the GOP nominee offered his closing argument on schools and education: 

Here’s Youngkin’s riff on education got the biggest cheers. Watch it here:

— Guy Benson (@guypbenson)

I especially appreciated his “prebuttal” on Critical Race Theory, preemptively addressing the false leftist critique that conservatives are afraid to teach American history to students. Not so, Youngkin says; schools should teach all of our history, including the “dark” and “abhorrent” chapters. What schools should not teach, he continues, is ugly racial division and race essentialism. His line on banning CRT drew one of the biggest roars of the evening, rivaled by his unsubtle references to holding school boards accountable. Speaking of which, here’s the latest out of Loudoun County, in regards to this outrageous story – via The Daily Wire:

.@AFTunion President @rweingarten is speaking at McAuliffe’s rally now #vagov

— Julia Manchester (@JuliaManch)

McAuliffe’s last rally wouldn’t have been complete without yet another brazen lie, which Politico called out

Brutal takedown of @TerryMcAuliffe in @playbookdc this morning.

— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne)

Not about Trump, remember. This thread is useful in watching the results come in later tonight: 

Election day votes will start to be counted. Absentee/early votes lean dem, and election day votes lean R, so Youngkin will start clawing his way up after 8pm or so. Big counties like Loudoun say they will likely have all votes counted by around 9/9:30 or so. So pretty fast 3/

— Alicia Smith (@Alicia_Smith19)

So again,McAuliffe will start out way ahead as early/absentees are reported first.Dont directly compare early results to county level results from 2020 as the initial results will be skewed dem. Once election day vote starts to be reported after 8pm,thats when it rlly gets going

— Alicia Smith (@Alicia_Smith19)

A Republican operative reacted to these tweets with advice for Republican voters in Virginia: “Importantly, if you’re a conservative in line to vote at 7pm and you start hearing that the initial results are pro-McAuliffe, STAY IN LINE AND VOTE.” Indeed. As I’ve been saying in my analyses of this race, Youngkin needs robust GOP turnout, plus all the indies and late-breakers flocking to him, to overcome the Democrats’ early vote lead. This should be eminently doable, based on what the campaign has been telling me. But it is hardly guaranteed. This is still a Biden +10 state. Because of that, lackluster Democratic turnout could also be a key to a potential Youngkin upset. That ingredient may be materializing, although early and scattered reports should always be taken with big grains of salt. I’ll leave you with these two hopeful notes: 

LISTEN: Based on his deep reporting of the race, @HotlineJosh (a Virginia guy) tells me his over/under ‘line’ in #VAGov is Youngkin +3.

Here’s why??

— Guy Benson (@guypbenson)

This mom and independent voter from Virginia is voting for Republican @GlennYoungkin “because of schools.”

“I have some friends that are Democrats who have never voted red in their life—and this time they voted every red box they could find.”

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch)

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