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Biden Throws Support Behind 23 Virginia Democrats in Eleventh-Hour Election Push

President Joe Biden on a conference | Photo: CNN

A last-ditch attempt to sway voters before an election is known as an “eleventh-hour election push.” It can take many different forms, such as a voter mobilization effort, a last-minute ad campaign by a political party, or a speech by a candidate. In this usage, the phrase “eleventh hour” refers to the final days or hours preceding an election. It is used to characterize the final minutes before a deadline or event.

On November 4, Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden declared their support for approximately twenty-one Democratic candidates from Virginia seeking state legislative seats this year.

All registered voters in the state will be able to cast ballots in the general election on November 7, 2023, in one of four states (the other three being Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jersey) that will have legislative elections.

But a few contested districts in southeast Virginia near Hampton Roads, central Virginia close to Richmond, and northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., will probably decide the balance of power.

In a joint statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, President Biden and Ms. Harris announced their endorsements. “With so much on the line this year, we can’t afford to let this important election pass us by.” “So much is at stake—not just for Virginia, but also for the future of this nation.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) unveiled the slate of 23 endorsements, some of which were for Democrats from swing districts, in a statement on X, now known as Twitter.

President Biden and Ms. Harris have backed seven state senators, all of whom are state legislators. State Senators Aaron Rouse (SD-7), Monty Mason (SD-24), Joel Griffin (SD-27), Schuyler VanValkenburg (SD-16), Clint Jenkins (SD-17), and state Del. Russet Perry (SD-31) and Danica Roem (SD-30)

Additionally, they are supporting the following 16 Democrats for the state House of Delegates: state Del. Michele Maldonado (HD-20), Amy Laufer (HD-55), Marty Martinez (HD-29), Atoosa Reaser (HD-27), Joshua Thomas (HD-21), Travis Nembhard (HD-22), and state Del. Joshua Cole (HD-65), State Del., and Rodney Willett (HD-58), Kimberly Pope Adams (HD-82), Shelly Simonds (HD-70), Stephen Miller-Pitts (HD-75), and State Del. Phil Hernandez (HD-94), Karen Jenkins (HD-89), and Nadarius Clark (HD-84), state Del. Michael Feggans (HD-97) and Kelly Fowler (HD-96)

In addition, President Biden just sent out a fundraising email on behalf of Virginia candidates through the DLCC. Biden has not yet disclosed his intentions to campaign in Virginia prior to next week’s general election.

Although it is common for a sitting president to back Democratic rivals in state elections, these endorsements often go to candidates running for Congress or governor rather than state legislative. The Democrats’ heightened skepticism in the battleground state seems to be further highlighted by President Biden’s last-minute engagement.

Republicans took control of every constitutional position in the state in 2021, winning a 52-48 majority in the House of Delegates. In the state Senate, Democrats are in a 22–17 majority.

Democratic donors go big

The Republican Party intends to seize complete control of the state assembly in order to provide Gov. Glenn Youngkin with the opportunity to implement his policies on abortion, taxation, and other important policy areas. In the meantime, Democrats aim to hold onto power in one house and maybe take over the other in order to continue acting as a check on Mr. Youngkin’s political goals.

While Democrats have top leaders, such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), campaigning and hosting fundraisers for Virginia’s state senate candidates and former President Barack Obama urging Virginians to vote, Mr. Youngkin has been spearheading an effort to elect Republicans to the state’s Senate and House of Delegates.

According to the most recent data from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), which covers contributions made between October 1 and October 26, Democrats are outspending Republicans, particularly in House contests where the difference between the parties’ totals is less significant.

Democrats raised a total of $12.7 million compared to the GOP’s $10.6 million, according to VPAP Senate financial statistics. Republicans collected $8.4 million, while Democrats raised $14.2 million for House candidates.

Because whoever controls Virginia is more likely to win the White House, the Nov. 7 election is being referred to as a bellwether for 2024, indicating how the public may lean in congressional and presidential contests. For this reason, the two parties have invested millions of dollars in these midterm elections.

Mr. Youngkin, who is still being discussed as a potential late entry into the 2024 presidential contest, has stated that this election is one of the most significant for the country as a whole as well as for Virginia.

The governor expressed hope that Republicans will take a majority in the state Senate, saying it is only logical given that Democrats held a trifecta before his election. Nevertheless, he managed to win his election in 2021, and the Republicans promptly regained control of the House.

It will be determined in a matter of days whether Republicans complete their trifecta, Democrats retain control of the Senate and retake the House, or if each party maintains control of one house for an additional two years.


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