VIRGINIA | VA-gov

BlackPAC to Mobilize for Northam

Northam and Gillespie have released new attack ads.

Sept. 21, 2017, 11:03 a.m.

BlackPAC, “an organization that mobilized black voters on behalf of Hillary Clinton,” will “spend $600,000 on voter education, including 100 paid canvassers, to impress on African Americans the importance of casting a ballot to fight racism, end voter suppression and create good-paying jobs. An affiliated political action committee plans to spend $500,000 on mailers and digital ads targeting black voters on behalf of the Democratic statewide ticket, including” Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D). (Washington Post)

AD BUYS. Northam announced Wednesday the campaign “will begin airing a new ad … as part of a substantial buy across the Commonwealth” charging that former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R), who it calls “’Enron Ed’ and a ‘Washington DC lobbyist’ … represented the worst of the worst: lenders trying to keep student loan rates high, corporations sending jobs overseas, and of course — the Enron scandal. Now, Enron Ed is lobbying for Donald Trump’s agenda.” (release)

Gillespie responded by releasing a TV ad that “Northam’s policies are dangerous,” citing his vote “in favor of sanctuary cities that let dangerous illegal immigrants back on the street, increasing the threat of MS-13.” (release)

YOU’VE GOT MAIL. The state Republican Party is running a mailer tagging Northam as “too extreme,” saying he “will build on Terry McAuliffe’s progressive record that hurt our economy, cost us jobs, and put our families at risk from gang violence and left wing politics.” It also presents Gillespie as having “conservative principles.”

Another party mailer authorized by Gillespie again contrasts parts of each candidate’s platform but also says, “I’ve got a lot of problems with Washington, DC. But this year my vote is about Virginia and my family. That’s why I’m voting Ed Gillespie for governor.” (Hotline reporting)

DIGITAL BREAKDOWN. Northam is pulling in a greater percentage of his fundraising over the last two months from in-state, 62 percent, than Gillespie, who pulled in just 27 percent of his haul from the Commonwealth. Gillespie’s greatest amount of in-state donations came from the Richmond area or inside the Beltway, while Northam’s came from Richmond and greater northern Virginia. (Virginia Public Access Project)

BELLWEATHER STATE. As Republicans and Democrats hone in on Virginia as a battleground for 2020, voter trends indicate “it’s far from clear that Virginia has become a reliably Democratic state, and this year’s gubernatorial race has done little to suggest otherwise. The strange course of Virginia’s two primary races this summer indicates that several Virginia-specific factors might hamper the election’s viability as a model for national politics. … Northam appears to be playing even closer to the center than he did against” former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-05), as “Virginia isn’t anywhere near as blue as the activist class outside the state likely believes it is.” (National Review)

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