Home 2019 Elections Justin Fairfax’s “Virginia State Line” Against Donald Trump: Perfect Messaging for the...

Justin Fairfax’s “Virginia State Line” Against Donald Trump: Perfect Messaging for the Closing Two Weeks


by A. Siegel


  • a Justin Fairfax advertisement from the primary could be a key tool to winning (big?) in Virginia in two weeks.
  • That ad — Virginia Line (against Trump) (ad below) — hits the key messaging
    • hit opponent, strong personal bio, agenda setting, family ‘values’
    • WOW! Fairfax/his team really did a good job.
  • Key to the message: Defending Virginia Against Trump:
  • Putting “Virginia Line” / Justin Fairfax as a leading message could be powerful tool to boost Democratic Party chances up and down the ballot in Virginia.

IntroNot paying enough attention down ballot?

Like many voters when it comes to state elections, my attention tends towards the top of the ticket. For instance, in Virginia this year, my main focus has been on the race for Governor, more than on the Lieutenant Governor or Attorney General races, or the for the 100 House of Delegate races. To the extent that I’m ‘engaged’ in the Virginia election, perhaps more than three-quarters of my energy is to that node star – the governor’s race – while another good share of my attention is focused on the disaster that is #VA10’s Congressional (non-)representation (Barbara Comstock). Sad to say, but the rest of the races are somewhat starving/competing for my limited time and attention.

My guess is that this is likely true for the vast majority of Virginia voters — to the extent that they are even aware there is an election in just over two weeks.  Is that right? good? the best thing to do? Almost certainly not. Is it true, though? Almost certainly yes.

Which brings me to the recent kerfuffle over the Northam campaign’s “own goal” — kowtowing to LiUNA’s destructive pro-pipeline stance by acquiescing in the removal of Lt.Gov. candidate Justin Fairfax from 1,000 flyers (out of something like 1.5M total) for LiUNA canvassing. This incident got a lot of press attention, while making me take a few moments to reflect on what’s going on here.

Thus, I turn to Justin Fairfax 

As noted, the Virginia Lt. Governor race hasn’t garnered nearly as much of my thinking as the Governor’s race, other than being amazed that the Republican candidate, Jill Vogel, might have an even uglier professional and political activism history than Gillespie’s destructively venal record.

Honestly, Justin Fairfax deserves better than that from me.  In terms of environmental issues, Fairfax arguably has the strongest voice of any statewide candidate — including a thoughtfully laid out set of reasons for opposing the unnecessary and destruction Dominion pipelines. Among other things, Justin Fairfax:

  1. opposes the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project for environmental, economic, property rights and other reasons;
  2. supports a clean energy economy for a wide variety of reasons (jobs, economic development, sustainability, health);
  3. opposes offshore oil drilling, because it’s the complete opposite of where we should be going (and creates serious risks of devastating Virginia’s beaches and fisheries).


The Virginia Line

in the sand

Fairfax also gets credit for running what, I’d argue (and have previously argued), is one of the strongest ads this election cycle: The Virginia Line.


Rewatching it, I’m struck at how it is just as powerful today as it was back in the spring. I’m also struck at how this message of defiance towards Donald Trump could be a great one for Ralph Northam’s campaign to use in the last two weeks of his campaign. In addition to being accurate, regarding the dire threat posed by Trump to our state and our nation, from a purely political perspective this messaging could help generate greater enthusiasm among Democratic “base” voters, while simultaneously reaching those (the majority of Virginians) who disapprove – and are terrified – about what Donald Trump is doing.

Could this be a message – drawing the “Virginia Line” against Trump and his GOP enablers – that could work to motivate people to get out, volunteer, donate and vote for Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, Mark Herring, and Democratic Party House of Delegate candidates in the closing two weeks of this election?  I’d argue strongly that it could – and hope to see it on my TV screen shortly.


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