The recent Virginia governor’s race has been described as a referendum on the Biden administration’s agenda. This assessment is overly-simplistic and dismissive of the reasons why voters cast their votes last week.
This narrative ignores that Virginia voted for Biden 54% to 46%, while Governor-elect Youngkin won the governor’s election by a 53% to 47% margin. These statistics show that the Virginia governor race was a result of some voters’ feeling that their current governor was not adequately handling issues that mattered most to them.
One demographic that played a huge role in McAuliffe’s defeat was suburban mothers. More specifically, historically, non-republican voting suburban mothers that had simply had enough of how their soon-to-be-former governor was handling education, school closures, and their children’s future.
This voting block felt that their concerns about school closures were not taken seriously by Gov. McAuliffe. Further, their perception was that the Governor was not doing enough to bring their children’s educational level to where it would have been had it not been for the COVID crisis.
As voter Shawnna Yashar said in an interview with CNN, “We think our kids are in crisis. The learning loss is real. So we’re in a situation where our kids are really far behind and they need a lot of help. They need a lot of additional tutoring. They need a lot of additional time after school to help catch them up, and they’re [the McAuliffe administration] still not focusing on that.”
Yashar and CNN’s panel of suburban moms felt as though Terry McAullife was more interested in the interests of the teachers’ unions than the education of their children. They also expressed the sense that McAuliffe was more interested in hobnobbing with Presidents Obama and Biden while simultaneously relying on voters’ distaste for President Trump as an effective campaign strategy.
As Virginia’s election outcome has shown, suburban moms, and voters in general, are fed up with Democratic candidates relying on photo-ops with prominent democratic figures. The results of this election are making it clear, using President Trump as means of leveraging votes instead of proposing solutions to the issues that matter to them the most.
As voter Dana Jackson said, “I felt like it was really tone-deaf to just discount parents and the whole educational struggle and to make it about Trump all of the time. I mean, there’s a place for that, but he [McAuliffe] never really talked about what he was going to do to improve things. He just talked about how bad everyone else was, and that was a real turnoff, especially, leaving our kids in the dust.”
Jack is an avid traveler from the Garden State. Jack Knows how to effectively communicate complex political concepts to insure every reader has a firm grasp on the topic at hand.