Budowsky: Vote for Terry McAuliffe: The midterms have begun

Budowsky: Vote for Terry McAuliffe: The midterms have begun
© Greg Nash

History suggests that statewide votes in the year before midterm elections have major impacts on the full range of elections the following year, when the entire nation is engulfed in voting for House, Senate and statewide candidates.

This year, the midterm elections have effectively begun, with the election for governor of Virginia being the second vitally important vote that will have powerful and dramatic impact on voting next year. The first was the recall election against Democratic Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomNewsom pledges increased spending on busting retail crime rings The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Shipwreck sends waste thousands of miles MORE in California, who won a major landslide, which lifted Democrats nationally. The second is this battle between former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, which will have an enormous impact on the 2022 elections.

Let’s consider three important points about this vital Virginia race.

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First, McAuliffe is a good man, who was a very good governor once before, and will be an outstanding governor once again if elected.

Second, why this election will have such a powerful effect in American politics in 2022 and the 2024 presidential election.

And third, why, since this election is so close, every single voter in Virginia has potentially dramatic power to effect the outcome. In a campaign that could be decided by a handful of votes, any Virginia reader of this column, and any other Virginian anywhere in the state, could ultimately be the king or queen who decides the outcome of a razor-thin election.

Every potential voter in Virginia could have decisive power to dramatically affect the future of the nation next week, by choosing to vote. And voters who requested vote by mail ballots should return their votes in person, while the Postal Service, which is led by a major Republican donor, should be investigated for long delays for many mail-in ballots being sent out. 

McAuliffe doesn’t just make campaign promises. He was governor from 2014 to 2018. His work in Virginia was so respected he was chosen to be chairman of the National Governors Association, including Republican and Democratic governors, in 2016. As governor he had significant achievements on health care under the Affordable Care Act, economic growth and job creation, voting rights, and countless other issues that remain vital today.

While McAuliffe was Democratic governor, working alongside Democratic former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash To empower parents, reinvent schools Senate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats MORE, joblessness in the state of Virginia fell from 5.7 percent to 3.3 percent, while personal income rose more than 14 percent.

By contrast, his opponent, Youngkin, is a moderate impersonator who publicly campaigns as a moderate Republican but tells his supporters in private that he plans to govern from the hard-line right.

For example, on abortion, on a recorded video that anyone can find, Youngkin told a supporter that he is staunchly pro-life, but cannot tell voters because it would lose independents. Once elected he would take the gloves off against abortion rights.

Pro-choice women should be alarmed and understand the odds are high that if Youngkin wins, he would try to replicate the extreme Texas law that Republicans are pushing in multiple states.

The national impact from the Virginia race will be powerful. If Youngkin wins, money would pour into Republican coffers. The race would be reported as a huge victory for Trump, a strong Youngkin supporter. More Democratic members of the House and Senate could well retire.

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If McAuliffe wins, the exact opposite is true. And note that shortly after Newsom defeated the recall he signed one of the strongest climate change bills of any state in America. Similarly, a Gov. McAuliffe would surely take dramatic action to make Virginia and America better, as he did during his first term, defending pro-choice rights, protecting voting rights from suppression, creating more jobs and protecting the environment.

Every vote counts. Every voter has power.

I have a young friend who works in my building who is inspiring the five voters in his family to vote for McAuliffe. In a razor-thin election they, like individuals across Virginia, have the power, if they seize it, to lift and change Virginia and America next week!

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.