Ashland, Virginia (AP) — Glenn Youngkin wants Virginia voters to hear an urgent message. Your children are at risk.
In a speech in the suburbs of northern Virginia last week, a Republican governor candidate highlighted the dark case of a student allegedly committing a sex crime in schools in two regions. He said the incident that caused community anger was the result of a failure in democratic leadership.
“What’s the other tragedy waiting for Virginia’s children?” Asked from the podium, atypical frowning Yongkin, surrounded by a collection of parents and school children.
On the eve of the November 2 election, Yongkin’s dark message was his months to restore Republican status in the suburbs, where college-educated moms and dads strongly opposed Donald Trump’s GOP. It represents a new frontline for pushes across.
Youngkin avoided Trump and his splitting rhetoric for most of the year and instead adopted a suburban strategy that emphasized friendly images and “kitchen table” issues such as taxes, public security and education. He also sought to link his educational platform to the frustration of a group of Virginia activists-many of which are run by officials who had previous relationships with the Trump administration, Republicans, or both-already. School pandemic restrictions and transgender policies, and upset in the classroom The curriculum they see is too liberal and non-American.
Yongkin’s final day focuses on sexual predators at school and is a less widespread issue, aiming to test the limits of his work on the suburbs and regain control of Congress next year. Provides lessons for Republicans.
In the highly competitive suburbs from California to Connecticut, Republicans are heading into the mid-term looking for post-Trump playbooks to rebalance the political situation. If Yongkin wins, many Republican candidates will probably accept his rhetoric. However, losses may indicate that a hard-line approach is limiting its appeal beyond the Republican foundation.
Within two weeks of Virginia’s election day, there are signs that Yongkin’s strategy is working.
Democratic Terry McAuliffe’s campaign personally admits the race is a toss-up, despite a 10 percent point built into President Joe Biden last fall. A new poll from Monmouth University, where the race is tied, has gained some support among those who decide between the two candidates in the last few months of the campaign, including the outskirts of Northern Virginia. Suggested that it might be.
Patrick Murray, director of the independent Opinion Poll Institute at the University of Monmouth, also said that voters’ top priority is shifting from a pandemic, which tends to favor the Democratic Party, to a darker economy and education. Stated.
McCorriff’s fight to maintain the party’s dominance with suburban voters has focused on connecting Trump and Yongkin, who were twice rejected by Virginia voters. This week, McCorriff released an ad in which his opponent and Trump use almost the same language. Trump supported two share positions with Yongkin in several policies, but Virginia Republicans spent millions of dollars on television advertising from his own personal property, making himself a moderate Republican businessman. Was defined as.
Jeff Roe, Yongkin’s chief strategist, said the campaign was a college-educated, white, suburban group of convincing independents called “Peroton’s Dad and Soccer Mom.” It states that it targeted about 15% of the universe. To reach them, Youngkin has developed a consistent advertising strategy and campaign events focused on regional issues.
“We’re campaigning for issues that no one is talking about, and we’re running against someone who isn’t on the ballot. It’s no wonder he’s not working,” Roe said. .. “We are discussing issues that people care about and are playing against Terry McAuliffe.”
Some Democrats are concerned.
In the suburbs of Richmond, Arsin Price, a member of the Henrico County Democratic Executive Committee, said he was skeptical that Yongkin would shake many Democrats, but worried he might appeal to anti-Trump Republicans. doing. She noticed a surge in signs in the neighborhood Yongkinyard, a swing district that turned blue after Trump’s election.
“Glenn Youngkin has given them embarrassing permission anymore,” she said of her Republican neighbor.
Twenty years ago, George W. Bush focused on education to describe himself as a “caring conservative.” Yongkin is trying to do the same by discussing his own plans to raise teacher wages and increase education spending. Both are McCorriff’s priorities.
However, two recent cases of suspected high school sexual assault have allowed Yongkin to link his educational platform to the potential for school violence.
The first incident occurred on May 28 in the toilet at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Loudoun County, Northern Virginia. The victim’s father was arrested at the school board the following month. Arguing with another parent. On October 6, another incident occurred at Broadland High School, about 5 km from Stonebridge.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that a 14-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the assault on May 28 and charged with two forced sodomies. Police later announced that the same suspect had been charged with sexual assault and the kidnapping of fellow students in the October 6 case.
In response to anger from parents that the same student was allowed two assaults in different schools, Loudon County Public School director Scott Ziegler apologized last week and said school officials would consider disciplinary action. ..
Yongkin’s decision to deal with the case on the end date of the campaign carries risks. On Friday, state police confirmed that they were investigating multiple threats to county prosecutors who criticized Yongkin in a television interview for “inflaming” the community.
Nonetheless, the incident supplemented what Yonkin’s campaign had already seen as a strength issue during the race’s home stretch: standing up for his parents.
“It’s not about ideology. Now we’re talking about the role of parents in affecting child safety,” said Virginia’s mother and former Trump Cabinet staff member who heads an organization called the Free to Learn Coalition. Alleigh Marré said. “Most parents will see what happened in Loudon and see a father stuck for his daughter who is a survivor of sexual assault, but the effect has returned to his father. . ”
Earlier this year, her group spent a lot of money on advertising criticizing school districts in Virginia, New York, and Arizona for classroom politics. This week, we announced the purchase of over $ 1 million in digital and television advertising across Virginia. This is intended to clarify the school’s “parental silence policy.”
On the ground in northern Virginia, Brianna Howard, a 32-year-old mother in a second-year school in Fairfax County, said her family struggled during the closing of classrooms last year. She supported them at first, but felt they lasted too long.
Howard, who usually voted for the Democratic Party and Biden last year, favors Youngkin because of his attitude towards education and his frustration with the Democratic Party, who feels he is dealing with the teachers’ union rather than his family. Said.
She attended one of Yongkin’s recent rallies and said she was “extremely impressed” when she heard that he had taken allegations of sexual assault seriously and demanded an investigation.
“He was very passionate about what he said and felt like listening to his parents and listening to us. And he just listens to us. I’m not going to change what’s happening, “she said.
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Yongkin School Warning Strengthens Republican Suburban Push | WGN Radio 720
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