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The Morning Briefing: The GOP Is Charlie Brown, Virginia Is Lucy With the Football

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Happy Thursday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Ketchup should never be used on a first date. Even on food.

While I tend to be a lot more optimistic about politics than my conservative friends and colleagues these days, I have to admit that I’m not feeling the sunshine when pondering the upcoming gubernatorial election in Virginia.

Virginia politics capture the attention of the rest of the country in ways that the goings-on in most other states don’t. Most of what’s gone on there in recent years hasn’t been pleasant for Republicans, who have had to watch the state slipping ever-leftward. Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin is giving the GOP hope, which can be a dangerous thing.

At the end of last week, I called Democrat Terry McAuliffe the cockroach of his party, seemingly impossible to be gotten rid of. The mere fact that a lunatic like that is the nominee is indicative of just what a leftist freakshow Virginia has become. I can’t help but shake the feeling that any Republican would have to be up by 20 points right now to have a chance of putting McAuliffe away.

There’s an irrational exuberance among many Republicans outside the state of Virginia about the fact that the polls show a dead heat between McAuliffe and Youngkin as we get close to the election. There are other encouraging signs as well.

As we have discussed here many times, the parental uprising against leftist overreach in public education is something that Democrats hadn’t counted on. Loudoun County in Virginia has been ground zero for all of that attention. If Youngkin is going to win, this issue will probably be the deciding factor. Matt writes that Virginia Dems are still stunningly clueless on the matter:

Parental rights in education have become a key issue, if not the primary issue, in the Virginia gubernatorial election. While it seems like an obvious loser for Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe to take the side of school boards over parents when it comes to controlling schools’ curriculum, he’s actually taking a mainstream position within his own party.

According to a recent Suffolk University/USA Today poll, a stunning 70% of Democrats in Virginia want school boards to have more influence on a school’s curriculum than parents. This position is by no means mainstream overall, as 50% of Virginians prefer parents having more influence, and only 39% preferred school boards. In contrast, 79% of Republicans and 57% of Independents want parents to have more control over a school’s curriculum. A mere 16% of Democrats preferred parents over school boards.

That should be enough to motivate every Republican in the state who is eligible to vote to do so, one would think.

The fact that Team McAuliffe is acting a bit desperate is a good sign as well. Chris has that story:

In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe is working hard to earn a second stint in the governor’s mansion, and he certainly didn’t count on the race becoming as tight as it has.

As the campaign enters the final stretch, McAuliffe and his team have resorted to a tactic that screams desperation. The campaign has spent over $100,000 on Facebook ads that link to fake news sites that look like legitimate news sources but resort to partisan propaganda.

It’s not as if Democrats can’t still rely on favorable press from the mainstream media, so this really does stick out. Maybe their internal polling is haunting them this Halloween season.

Despite all of the signs that things are moving in the right direction for Youngkin and the Virginia GOP, we’re probably not outside the margin of Democrat election shenanigans. A win for the Republicans in Virginia would certainly set the tone nicely for the midterm elections next year. It’s obvious that Republicans all over the country really, really want this one.

That overwhelming desire, combined with McAuliffe’s cockroach-iness, gives me a nagging feeling that we’re all Charlie Brown waiting to finally kick the football here. Again, this is all just a gut feeling of mine, but if I had to bet on the election, I’d put my money on Lucy doing her Lucy thing again.

It’s a bet I’d be thrilled to lose though.

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