In 2017, the Washington Post editorial board – “One of the few newspaper endorsements that still matters is the Washington Post’s in D primaries,” as UVA Professor Larry Sabato put it at the time – waited until June 6 to endorse in the June 13 Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary between Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello. This year, they’re opting to endorse *much* earlier…6+ weeks, rather than 1 week…for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. See below for a few key points from the endorsement. Also note that McAuliffe leads by wide margins in all the polling, as in the PredictIt Virginia Democratic gubernatorial market, where he’s currently up by a 96 cents-3 cents margin over former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy. With that…the 2021 Washington Post Virginia Democratic gubernatorial endorsement:
- The WaPo argues that “none of [McAuliffe’s Democratic rivals] has landed more than a glancing blow” or “made a plausible case that they could match Mr. McAuliffe’s talent for persuasion and strategy.”
- “McAuliffe was an excellent governor who notched major achievements despite being hamstrung by Republicans, who then controlled the state legislature. His performance in office — tireless, bold, pragmatic — confounded the expectations of many, even in his own party, who once regarded him as a fast-talking opportunist.”
- The WaPo writes that McAuliffe has a large amount of “support among Black state legislators, more of whom have endorsed him than any of his opponents, three of whom — Ms. McClellan, Ms. Carroll Foy and Mr. Fairfax — are themselves African American.”
- The WaPo argues that McAuliffe’s Democratic “primary rivals are relatively untested on a statewide stage.” The paper claims, for whatever reason, that State Sen. Jennifer McClellan “may be less effective in an executive role”; that former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy’s “political experience…is thin”; that LG Justin Fairfax “has run a campaign longer on rhetoric than detailed policy plans”; and that “a self-styled democratic socialist” Del. Lee Carter also has “thin” political experience.
- The bottom line, in the WaPo’s view: “McAuliffe runs as a proven commodity, fluent in policy, idealistic in outlook and clear-eyed about how to get things done. He has lost none of his relentlessly upbeat affect, but no one dismisses him as a lightweight any longer. He was a first-rate governor and makes a compelling case that he would be again.”