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Surging Ed Gillespie Might Pull Off Upset in Va.

Surging Ed Gillespie Might Pull Off Upset in Va.
Ed Gillepie (Steve Helber/AP)

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:25 AM Current | Bio | Archive

A new poll shows a tie between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democratic opponent Ralph Northam in a heated gubernatorial race in Virginia. The race poses huge implications for the president, as many see it as an early referendum on Trump.

The race is also one of the only two races for a statehouse anywhere this year.

According to a just-completed Monmouth Poll, former Republican National Chairman Gillespie now edges Democratic Lt. Gov. Northam and long-presumed front-runner by 48 to 47 percent statewide.

The Monmouth poll came on the heels of a Hampton poll showing Gillespie beating Northam by a much larger margin of 41 to 33 percent.

So panicked are national Democrats about losing a race that is drawing national attention that the party’s National Chairman Tom Perez recently signed off on a whopping $1.5 million in DNC funding for Northam. In addition, former President Obama was the headliner for Northam at a recent rally in Northern Virginia.

So just how did Gillespie — three years after he lost a heartbreakingly close contest to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and four months after he eked out the nomination for governor — get to this strong position with one week to go before the election?

“For one thing, I am facing an opponent who is, without argument, the most liberal Democrat ever nominated for governor in the history of our state,” Gillespie told Newsmax between campaign stops. “And I have a vision of an opportunity society that is resonating with Virginians.”

Like his past bosses, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Gillespie champions lower tax rates as a means of energizing the economy. In this campaign, he has run hard on a 10 percent across-the-board tax cut. In addition, he champions education savings accounts, which would give children in lower income areas an opportunity to attend better-quality schools.

Northam opposes both positions.

“He’s first candidate to run for governor in Virginia history not to give his full support to 'right to work,'” Gillespie told me. “And it’s not just that we’re a right-to-work state. But the national tide is headed that way. 26 states have right to work, including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Michigan.”

The GOP nominee also noted that “President Trump did our coalminers a huge favor by pulling out of the Paris climate accords and saved them the burden of its regulation. My opponent says Virginia should continue to abide by the accord, no matter what the U.S. government policy is."

Summarizing the message in a recent, hardhitting TV spot, Gillespie said “my opponent, as lieutenant governor, cast the tie-breaking vote in the state senate against a ban on sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.”

In a state in which Hillary Clinton edged Donald Trump last year and Obama carried in 2012, will Trump be a problem for Republican Gillespie? “Not at all,” Gillespie countered. “I voted for him and introduced Mike Pence at two rallies. I liked what he did with the Paris climate accord and his policies will mean more ships for our naval yard in Norfolk.”

Anyone watching statewide races in Virginia knows that Libertarian candidates can be fatal to Republicans in close contests. In both the 2013 race for governor won by Democrat Terry McAuliffe [who is termed out this year] and the 2014 Senate race in which Democrat Warner squeaked out a win over Gillespie, Libertarian candidates got more votes than the difference between winner and loser.

This year, patent attorney Cliff Hyra has raised only $31,000 and is shown drawing less than 3 percent of the vote in most polls.

“I think our message is moving enough people that they won’t need to seek an alternative candidate,” said Gillespie.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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A new poll shows a tie between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democratic opponent Ralph Northam in a heated gubernatorial race in Virginia. The race poses huge implications for the president, as many see it as an early referendum on Trump.
northam, gillespie, virginia, governor
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2017-25-31
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:25 AM
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