Youngkin Reaches Out to Non-GOP Groups in Tight Va Gov Race Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, R-Va., speaks during a campaign event on July 14, 2021, in McLean, Virginia. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
By Michael Cozzi | Friday, 20 August 2021 07:48 PM
With three months to go before Virginians elect a new governor, signs indicate the race may go down to the proverbial wire. A poll earlier this month showed former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe edging Republican Glenn Youngkin by 47 to 45 percent statewide.
What cheers Democrats and worries Republicans, however, is that a heavy turnout in Northern Virginia has historically put Democrats over the top in close races.
When McAuliffe won his first term over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in 2013, it was by a wafer thin 56,435 votes (2.5 per cent of the total) and the edge came from Northern Virginia. A year later, when Democratic Sen. Mark Warner won reelection over former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, it was by an even smaller 17,000 votes.
Again, the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia saved the Democrat. Obviously aware of this, businessman and first-time candidate Youngkin has just unveiled a far-flung network of coalitions designed to appeal to groups with whom Republicans historically have fared poorly or failed to reach.
There is an Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Glenn Youngkin, to whose community leaders the Republican hopeful promises ''a seat at the table and a voice in their future.''
With Black Virginians for Glenn, he promises to give parents the power to "choose
where their children go to school and access to the resources needed to empower students to succeed.''
Similar groups include Latinos for Youngkin and Women for Glenn Youngkin. ''Educators For Youngkin,'' according to the Republican’s website, ''will bring together every Virginian who understands the importance of challenging, inspiring, and providing an equal opportunity to every student to chase their dream.''
Youngkin ''will work hard to stop the downward spiral of K-12 public education in Virginia'' and ''will advocate for better access and more choice, because parents deserve to have the power to choose where their child goes to school.''
The Republican also has a Farmers for Youngkin group, which he describes as a coalition of ranchers and farmers from all across Virginia who support him because ''he understands the critical role agriculture plays in Virginia’s economy and our communities — as the largest industry in Virginia, contributing more than $70 billion annually to the state’s economy and providing more than 300,000 jobs.''
There are also Faith Leaders for Youngkin, Innovators for Youngkin, Law Enforcement Coalition for Glenn, Students for Youngkin and Veterans for Youngkin.
The candidate has also formed an Election Integrity Task Force in which members commit to ensuring an honest election by serving as election officers, poll watchers or precinct captains.
''The 16 coalitions represent a diversity of backgrounds, communities, and perspectives that will help propel Glenn Youngkin to victory,'' campaign spokesman Daniel Cade told Newsmax. ''We look forward to continuing to grow our coalitions, with forthcoming announcements on our new Sportsmen for Youngkin and Healthcare Workers for Youngkin coalitions.''
Michael Cozzi is a Ph.D. candidate at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.