|To: Interested Parties
From: Grant Fox, Virginia Democratic Party
Date: Sunday, August 23, 2020
RE: Trump Campaign in Crisis in Virginia as Chaotic Convention Begins
When the Republican Party addresses Americans tomorrow at the start of the Republican National Convention, you’d forgive them if they seemed to be trembling. After all, in crucial states like Virginia, the Trump campaign is facing historic headwinds, crippled by organizational and enthusiasm deficits, and weighed down by the disastrous record and unpopular positions of a failed administration. Trump will be hoping that his chaos convention can end his campaign in crisis — but too many Virginia families are facing crises of their own brought on by the Trump administration, and with fewer than 75 days to go until Election Day, Trump is out of time.
Trump’s Disastrous Administration Is Littered With Political Broken Promises…
President Trump’s broken promises — including his failed response to COVID-19 — has left him without an issue to run on:
- Trump’s ruinous response to COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in our Commonwealth; As of Friday, Virginia had suffered more than 2,400 deaths due to the virus and over 112,000 cases, a number still climbing at a rate of over 800 cases a day.
- As of mid-August, Trump’s approval rating for his handling of the pandemic is 17 points underwater, a 21 point decrease in net approval since March.
- Trump’s COVID economy has hit the Commonwealth hard — Friday’s latest state unemployment numbers show that the state’s unemployment rate hit 8.0% in July, nearly three times higher than the state’s rate this time last year. While Joe Biden has a plan to Build Back Better from the pandemic and the recession, Trump has failed to negotiate a deal in Washington, D.C. to boost the economy.
- Trump can’t run on health care, either; as many as 3.4 million Virginians have pre-existing conditions, and Trump’s efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act–which would take away protections for pre-existing conditions and send their health care costs skyrocketing–won’t make him more popular. Joe Biden, meanwhile, would keep these protections and make it easier for every Virginian to access affordable health care.
- Lastly, Trump’s executive order to defer the payroll tax — and his pledge to eliminate it entirely if reelected — would devastate the state, including the 900,000 Virginians 65 and older, and the one in five Virginians who will be over 65 by the decade’s end. The payroll tax is the primary funding for Social Security, and permanently eliminating it without finding alternate funding would irreparably harm the program. Meanwhile, if elected, Joe Biden would strengthen Social Security benefits.
- More than half of all voters — including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents — view stopping cuts to Social Security as their most important issue in November.
…While Enthusiasm for Joe Biden in Virginia Grows…
Even in the midst of a historic pandemic, Democratic voters are fired up, and our Virginia ‘VA Victory’ Coordinated Campaign has continued to build the winning coalition that will defeat Trump in November:
- More than 1.3 million Virginians voted in the 2020 primary, shattering the primary turnout record set in 2008 by more 300,000 votes. More Virginians voted for Joe Biden in March than any other previous Democratic nominee in history.
- With a trifecta in state government, Democrats have made it easier for everyone to vote easily and safely in the middle of a pandemic, including expanding absentee voting, extending poll hours, and making Election Day a state holiday.
- Thanks to increased enthusiasm, in each year since the 2016 presidential election, voter registration in Virginia has increased compared to the same point in the previous election cycle through last year.
Making Democrats Even More Confident They’ll Win in November.
Between strong Democratic enthusiasm and Trump’s failed record, this week’s chaos convention won’t stop Democrats from building on their historic gains at the ballot box in the crucial areas that will decide this election:
- Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009, and Republicans haven’t carried Virginia in a presidential election since 2004.
- In 2019, Virginia Democrats won majorities in both chambers of the state legislature for the first time in more than two decades, “continuing a trend of once GOP-friendly suburbs turning blue.”
- In 2018, Senator Tim Kaine was re-elected by 16 points, his largest statewide margin yet, and Virginia Democrats flipped three congressional seats, taking a 7-4 advantage in the Commonwealth’s U.S. House delegation.
- Trump lost Virginia by five points four years ago, and hasn’t gotten any more popular; According to a Civiqs poll, 58% of Virginians disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing, putting him 19 points underwater.