Ralph Northam has run out of gas, folks.
In yet another poll showing Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie with a surprising amount of strength, Gillespie is edging out a 2 point lead against his Democratic rival. This memorandum obtained from Real Clear Politics explains the spread.
What might be shocking to some outsiders are the numbers for Republican attorney general candidate John Adams, a newcomer to politics who has brought Democratic AG Mark Herring down to earth in what has now become a 43-43 race.
Readers here of TRS know that we have been calling the Adams/Herring race as the one to watch, as both sides have confirmed that there is a great deal of movement in the numbers of that race (Herring’s team perhaps being the most professional of the three Democratic campaigns) — and not in Herring’s favor.
Moreover, Herring’s cash advantage going into the race — though sizeable at 2mil — was never quite complimented due to a moribund and lackluster Northam effort. That combined with constant infighting with Justin Fairfax’s lieutenant governor’s bid over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline ultimately created the malestrom where neither the gubernatorial nor the lieutenant governor’s ticket truly led the race… forcing Herring to both play team ball (which they have) yet to some degree be led by events rather than a strategic path forward.
All of these things have played to Adams’ advantages, who has run a series of very positive, steady ads that reinforce his integrity and kindness. That’s right — kindness.
One senior Republican dropped some wisdom with regards to Adams’ ads: “Adams is running the sort of campaign Northam wishes he were running.” Given their similar backgrounds — VMI graduates, Navy experience, native Virginians — the observation rings very true.
As for the Gillespie-Northam campaign? Northam has demonstrably fallen behind on his run for governor, hobbled by miscues such as deleting his running mate from the ticket and peppered by vicious and outrageous ads — most notable of which compared Republicans to Nazis and Republican HOD candidates to animals and serial killers.
The Democrats’ vitriol and hatred for Trump is blinding them to the the argument at hand — which party can best run the Commonwealth? If the argument is stability in a post-Trump era, the Democrats have only offered more of the same radical change that instigated all of the reasons why working class Americans voted Trump in the first place.
Either way, if you’re Gillespie you really cannot be displeased with the results. If you’re Adams, you are positively thrilled. If you are Herring? You are definitely looking up to the top of the ticket wondering when they will get their act together (or realize that it’s over and salvage the AG race). If you’re Northam… well, perhaps you still believe you have a 13 point lead according to the cheerleaders at the Washington Post.