U.S.

Democrats, Republicans cancel post-election rallies in wake of Alexandria shooting

Democrats, Republicans cancel post-election rallies in wake of Alexandria shooting

Conservative populist Corey Stewart shocked political observers Tuesday night by almost upsetting establishment favorite Ed Gillespie in Virginia's Republican gubernatorial primary.

The Democratic campaign for lieutenant governor struggled for attention, crowded out by the hotly contested race at the top of the ticket as well as the soap opera quality that dominated the Republican primary for lieutenant governor. Gillespie was expected to win handily, thanks to broad support among the party's elected leaders and a massive fundraising edge, but instead won by an uncomfortably close single percentage point. In the 2013 gubernatorial general election, roughly 43% of the state's registered voters went to the polls.

Kimelman said recent statements from Stewart regarding Gillespie's beliefs could have driven issue-based voters to the polls. Tim Kaine in next year's senate contest.

Stewart, who was Virginia state co-chairman of President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, heavily courted the "alt-right" during his campaign, which he announced in April 2016. A couple of reasons have been posited for this situation, but it all comes down to this: No state, save perhaps Maryland, has such a symbiotic relationship - not dependent, but symbiotic - with the federal government, Hence, the part of the Commonwealth 1) most populous and 2) most likely to vote for the more government-centric of the two major parties is Northern Virginia, home of the permanent government (federal bureaucracy).

But Wednesday afternoon he told us the question isn't whether he will endorse Ed Gillespie, but whether Ed Gillespie is going to reach out to his supporters. Kimelman said Stewart falsely claimed Gillespie sought to remove historical statues and supported allowing women to have late-term abortions. He said he expects the party to unite against Gillespie in order to keep Northam out of the Executive Mansion.

"We've got a lot of energy in the Democratic party right now", said Harned.




But Stewart said his supporters and Trump's voters won't back Gillespie until he can show that he's a "fighter" who supports them. Outside of Lynchburg and the Roanoke metro area, Stewart won wide swaths of the central and western Virginia rural communities, and almost engineered an upset that few observers gave him much of a chance to pull off.

Perriello also emphasizes Democrats' need to be more receptive to the economic anxieties of rural and working class voters who supported Trump, including fears of jobs loss due to automation and artificial intelligence. At the same time, he can't afford to alienate more moderate voters.

"I see this as the midterm of the midterms", said Felty, who voted for Trump and remains steadfast in his support.

Democrats reacted with glee to Gillespie's scare and created a new website Wednesday - TrumpGillespie2017.com - to try and link Gillespie with the president.

Rallies in Virginia Beach, Roanoke and Bristol were cancelled after the shooting in Alexandria that wounded a U.S. Congressman and several others.

Perriello ran as an unapologetic liberal crusader supported by prominent national Democrats like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 demonstrated an increased emphasis on Virginia as an indicator of national politics, possibly driving turnout. Virginia has nearly 5.5 million registered voters, so the combined turnout was nearly 17%. Northam, who had wide backing from the state's Democratic Party establishment, trounced Perriello in Virginia's Hampton Roads region.


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