Low Turnout in Democrat Primary Spells Trouble for McAuliffe

Low Turnout in Democrat Primary Spells Trouble for McAuliffe

June 9, 2021

Washington insider Terry McAuliffe is limping out of the gate after enduring a bruising primary. His four progressive opponents battered him for months, which might explain the underwhelming turnout in the Democrat primary. McAuliffe’s opponents – and even former Governor Doug Wilder – have taken issue with his latest bid by warning Democratic voters that his candidacy would zap the enthusiasm of their base heading into the General Election.  

WRVA: “It’s not just at that [gubernatorial] level. You go on down to the Lieutenant Governor’s race, on down to the Attorney General’s race. Look at the lack of unity. Look at the lack of bringing together an expressive voice on the actual issues…This goes back to the party: Who made these decisions to get behind these people or cause all of these people to jump into the race to fight each other? Someone had to make a decision in order for this to take place or someone should have said ‘This cannot happen. You cannot win with division and the only way you can win is with strength.’”

McAuliffe’s tenure as governor left the Commonwealth mired in FBI investigations, lawsuits, and partisan gridlock. Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy even made McAuliffe’s pay-to-play style of politics a key issue in her campaign.

VPM: “Two out of our last three governors in Virginia were investigated by the FBI,” she said during a March 16 debate. “One went to jail and one is running for office again in this election.”

Jennifer McClellan said that McAuliffe’s fearmongering and grandstanding wouldn’t be enough to lead their party to victory in November.

The Daily Press: “Democratic voters ‘need a nominee who will excite and expand’ the base, said state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, one of McAuliffe’s four primary opponents. ‘It’s not enough to give someone something to vote against.’”

“With Terry McAuliffe at the top of the ticket, Democrats sent a clear message to the people of Virginia that they are out of ideas to move the state forward,”  said Virginia Rising Executive Director Tucker Davis. “Yesterday’s abysmal turnout is setting off alarms for national Democrats who recognize McAuliffe fails to excite their base while galvanizing Republicans across the state.”

Stay up to date