Home 2021 Elections Audio: “Pod Save America” Discusses Dave Wasserman’s Tweet Saying Virginia Republicans “actually...

Audio: “Pod Save America” Discusses Dave Wasserman’s Tweet Saying Virginia Republicans “actually have a good chance to win the VA governor’s race this year”

"I think you can run against Glenn Youngkin as a Trumpy Mitt Romney"; Youngkin "is still a big-lie-believing, Trump-endorsed, very wealthy hedge fund executive, which is not a great profile on paper"

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The other day, a tweet by Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report stirred up quite a debate on Twitter. In the tweet, Wasserman argued that “Republicans actually have a good chance to win the VA governor’s race this year.” Later Wasserman somewhat walked back the “good chance” comment, tweeting that “Dems have an initial advantage for #VAGOV, but it’s competitive w/ Youngkin (and his deep pockets) as the GOP nominee. Dems shouldn’t assume Virginia’s anti-Trump shift is automatically a durable, pro-Democratic shift.” Wasserman also tweeted another variation of his prediction, rhetorically asking, “What if I think Rs have a good chance to take advantage of a narrow path?”

My responses to the tweets, in order: 1) I think Republicans have a chance at winning this November, but I’m not sure I’d call it a “good chance,” depending how one defines the word “good” in this case (assuming Biden’s approval numbers are similar to where they are now and the economy is strong, maybe 25% chance?); 2) I completely agree that this coming November’s elections are “competitive w/Youngkin (and his deep pockets)”; 3) I *strongly* agree that “Dems shouldn’t assume Virginia’s anti-Trump shift is automatically a durable, pro-Democratic shift”; 4) “a good chance to take advantage of a narrow path” seems like a more nuanced, also more solid, forecast than just saying “Republicans actually have a good chance to win the VA governor’s race this year.”

Anyway, on Thursday’s Pod Save America, there was some interesting discussion of Wasserman’s tweet, the reaction to it, etc. See below for an audio clip, and also a few highlights, including the following (note: my reactions are in blue and italics following each point):

  • Wasserman’s “reasoning is, essentially that a large swath of Virginia reacted against Trump – that’s why it had such strong results in ’17, ’18, ’19 and ’20 – and the state had been much closer, prior to that.” (Agreed – a LOT of what happened in  Virginia during the four years of Trump’s nightmarish presidency was a massive anti-Trump backlash, which swept Democrats in to majorities in the House of Delegates and State Senate, plus the governorship and other wins.)
  • “Democrats won Virginia in 2001… 2005… 2006… 2008… 2012… 2013…2016… 2017…2018…2020” and the 2019 state legislative races. “So Democrats, long before Trump…had done very well in this state.” (Yes, although Dems did NOT do well in the House of Delegates for most of those years…until the anti-Trump backlash led to “blue wave” elections in 2017 and 2019.)
  • But in 2013, Terry McAuliffe only won by a narrow margin, and in 2009, Democrats lost the governor’s race badly. And in this case, “for the first time in a long time, the Republicans did not pick their worst possible candidate” (aka, Amanda Chase). Of course, “it’s all relative who’s the Trumpiest candidate.” For instance, in 2018, Virginia Republicans nominated “Corey Stewart, an actual support of the Confederacy!” (I’d add that if Republicans had gone with Pete Snyder, it would have been possibly even worse – believe it or not! – than if they’d gone with Chase, as Snyder wouldn’t have been a strong candidate AND Chase had vowed to run as an independent if Snyder were chosen as the VA GOP gubernatorial nominee.)
  • So Youngkin is “a good candidate” relative to Amanda Chase, Ken Cuccinelli and Corey Stewart, “but he is still a big-lie-believing, Trump-endorsed, very wealthy hedge fund executive, which is not a great profile on paper.” (Exactly; this stuff’s all relative, and Youngkin only looks relatively sane and “moderate” when you compare him to the Amanda Chases of the world.)
  • I think you can run against Glenn Youngkin as a Trumpy Mitt Romney…you can use the fact that he was the f’ing Carlyle Group CEO, of all the places, the Carlyle Group…that has done a deal to force Taylor Swift to re-record all her albums.” (Yeah, wonder if Youngkin agrees with Romney that “corporations are people, my friends” and that ” there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” Some reporter should ask him, lol.)
  • Youngkin “has Trump’s endorsement, he was on tape during the primary saying ‘they call me another Donald Trump, I say thank you’…and then saying that ‘election integrity’ was his most important issue.”  (So yeah, again, none of that has *any* appeal to anyone other than the Trump “base” in Virginia, but instead these things are huge turnoffs to most Virginia voters…and for VERY good reason!)
  • So, bottom line: “I still think because of the demographic makeup of the state, because he’s a multi-millionaire…who’s running on a traditional Republican platform and has embraced Donald Trump, I still think [he’s] gonna have a tough time, even though he’s less Trump than the other candidates.” So…”Republicans have a better chance than you would think…but that doesn’t mean they are favored.” (Yep, that’s exactly the way to phrase it – Republicans “have a better chance than you would think” but aren’t “favored.” Still, Democrats absolutely *must not* take this election for granted, but instead must turn out in huge numbers both to defeat the hard-right Republican statewide ticket and also to keep Eileen Filler-Corn as Speaker of the House of Delegates – and to make sure that we don’t have Speaker Todd Gilbert – ugh!).

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