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McAuliffe, Democratic groups launch climate ad blitz in Virginia a week out from election

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe addresses reporters after casting his ballot during early voting at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, Va., on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.
Greg Nash

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe rolled out a slate of ads focused on climate and the environment in a joint effort with Democratic groups on Tuesday, marking the start of the final week of Virginia’s gubernatorial campaign. 

McAuliffe, along with the Democratic Governors Association and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters PAC, will run television ads in the Washington, D.C., Richmond and Norfolk media markets, while digital ads will go up on YouTube, Google, Facebook, Hulu, Roku and MiQ. 

The Hill was the first outlet to report on the announcement. 

The McAuliffe campaign and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters PAC put out a 15-second ad summarizing McAuliffe’s stances on climate, while the Democratic Governors Association went on air with a 30-second ad hitting Republican Glenn Youngkin over comments at a forum earlier this month when he said he did not know whether humans are responsible for climate change. 

The ad blitz comes as polls show McAuliffe and Youngkin neck and neck in the polls. A Monmouth University poll released last week showed McAuliffe and Youngkin tied at 46 percent each. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the race as a “toss-up.” 

While climate is an issue that will likely rev up parts of the Democratic base in Virginia, Youngkin and Republicans have focused on parents’ rights in their children’s education as a central issue.

Youngkin and his campaign have released a number of ads on the issue, including one that was released on Monday that featured a Fairfax County mother’s push to require schools to tell parents if books in their child’s curriculum contained explicit content and allow students to opt-out of reading the material. As a part of the effort, the mother pushed to ban the 1987 novel “Beloved” from her son’s curriculum in 2013 until new policies that addressed explicit material for students were put in place. 

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