President Joe Biden won Virginia a year ago by 10 points. In normal times, that would mean a governor’s race this year in the Old Dominion shouldn’t be close, especially not one that pits a relatively popular former Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, against a relatively milquetoast Republican like Glenn Youngkin.
Yet going into Election Day, the McAuliffe campaign is in freefall. A Fox News poll last week had Youngkin up by eight points, and the RealClearPolitics polling average has him up by nearly two. Against all odds, and with the media establishment doing all it can to support McAuliffe, it’s possible that Youngkin might just win.
That of course would be a stunning rebuke to Biden and the Democrats. But even if Youngkin doesn’t pull it off and McAuliffe ekes out a win, Democrats have already suffered a devastating blow in this campaign. They have effectively lost the contest of ideas at the heart of the McAuliffe-Youngkin race, and thereby exposed the frailty, impotence, and unpopularity of Biden and the Democrats’ entire leftist agenda.
How did McAuliffe manage this? By embracing and defending Democratic Party positions in the culture war that are increasingly out of step with ordinary Americans.
The notion that parents should not have a say in what their children are taught in school might be popular with left-wing ideologues, but only a fool would come out and declare it, as McAuliffe did, for the simple reason that a vast majority of parents very understandably think they should indeed have a say in what their kids are taught in school.
Or consider something like teaching critical race theory. Americans have been slowly waking up to the prevalence and perniciousness of critical race theory in public education institutions, and Youngkin wisely leaned into this issue, making education a centerpiece of his campaign. That prompted McAuliffe to claim that critical race theory has never been taught in Virginia schools, which is a blatant lie, and then claim that simply talking about critical race theory is itself a racist dog whistle.
The problem for McAuliffe is, the only people who believe that are radicals on the left. Most parents, whether they vote Democrat or Republican, don’t want their kids to be taught that they are defined by their race or sex, and don’t think schools have any business pushing those ideas in the classroom. That’s one reason a growing number of Virginia Democrats appear to be supporting Youngkin, who by simply affirming what most people think — kids shouldn’t be indoctrinated with neo-racist ideas in school — has been able to highlight the insanity of the Democratic Party’s de facto positions on education and race.
The focus on education and parents’ rights has of course been amplified in Virginia by the ongoing scandal in Loudoun County, where a woke school board and superintendent apparently covered up the rape of a girl in a school bathroom by a “gender-fluid” boy for fear that news of the sexual assault would derail their transgender bathroom policy.
Against that backdrop, Youngkin has been able to make a compelling case that Virginia public schools are controlled by leftist zealots who put ideology above the safety and well-being of students. McAuliffe’s response? Lie about Youngkin wanting to ban a Toni Morrison book, and then close out his campaign by saying Virginia has too many white teachers.
No doubt, McAuliffe has run one of the worst campaigns in recent memory, but by toeing the Democratic Party line at every step, he’s managed to alienate otherwise non-ideological voters by taking extreme positions to appease Democrats’ left-wing base.
Sound familiar? Biden has done more or less the same thing since taking office nine months ago, and is now dropping fast in the polls. A new NBC News poll found 54 percent disapprove of Biden’s job performance, and a whopping 7 in 10 Americans, including nearly half of Democrats, think the nation is heading in the wrong direction.
No wonder it hasn’t helped McAuliffe to have Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris — to say nothing of election conspiracy theorist Stacy Abrams — stumping for him in the final days of the campaign. They have become the face not just of failure and incompetence, but of radical leftism masquerading as centrism. Every problem they have turned into a crisis, and every crisis into a catastrophe. All along the way, they keep lying about what they’re doing and why, and people have started to notice.
The dynamic at play is here is much larger than the Virginia governor’s race; it’s about the crack-up of the Democratic Party, which is now controlled by woke elites whose views strike the American mainstream as bizarre and extreme, and who, like McAuliffe, have no rejoinder to those who challenge them except to cry “racism,” lie about their opponents, and hope for the best.
POLL: Voters have increasing doubts about Biden health, mental fitness
A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows just 44 percent of voters approve of Biden’s job performance, and 46 percent say he’s “mentally fit.”
Voters have increasing doubts about the health and mental fitness of President Joe Biden, the oldest man ever sworn into the White House, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Only 40 percent of voters surveyed agreed with the statement that Biden “is in good health,” while 50 percent disagreed. That 10-percentage-point gap — outside the poll’s margin of error — represents a massive 29-point shift since October 2020, when Morning Consult last surveyed the question and found voters believed Biden was in good health by a 19-point margin.
Asked whether Biden is mentally fit, voters are almost evenly split, with 46 percent saying he is and 48 percent disagreeing. But that negative 2-point margin stands in stark contrast to Biden’s numbers lastOctober, when voters believed he was mentally fit by a 21-point margin.https://bea6cc9e18caeb2dfe24debcd71c41b2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
The poll questions are part of a long battery of attributes about which voters were asked to rate Biden — the same battery employed multiple times during Donald Trump’s presidency, and asked about both candidates last fall, prior to the 2020 presidential election.
The new polling comes amid persistent questions about whether Biden — who turns 79 on Saturday — will run for reelection in threeyears and as Democrats have grown increasingly concerned with the party’s gerontocracy. Biden says he will run again, but some longtime allies have raised doubts. Even “Saturday Night Live” recently ribbed Biden over whether he was “lucid.”
The most intense scrutiny of Biden’s age and his verbal miscues had previouslybeen limited to conservative news outlets and social media, said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has surveyed for Biden.
“They’re running a very aggressive campaign on this, and it’s bleeding over into the mainstream a little,” Lake said. “By and large, the people who believe this are Trump supporters anyway or they’ve been exposed to the right-wing disinformation machine.”
To Lake’s point, the Morning Consult poll generally shows that Trump voters and Republicans generally believe Biden is neither physically nor mentally fit, and Biden voters believe the opposite. However, independents — by a margin of 23 points — don’t agree that Biden is mentally fit now.
Before last year’s election, independents and voters overall believed Biden was more physically and mentally fit than Trump, whose mismanagement of the pandemic damaged his campaign as the Biden campembraced social distancing and mostly eschewed large events.
But with Trump gone as a foil for now, Biden is more in the spotlight than ever, and his overall approval rating began collapsing with the bloody withdrawal from Afghanistan. The ravages of the coronavirus Delta variant, congressional squabbling and public perceptions about the economy also contributed to Biden’s troubles.
The new Morning Consult poll shows 44 percent give Biden a positive job approval rating and 53 percent disapprove. Biden’s approval rating is essentially unchanged over the past two weeks — it was 46 percent last week and 45 percent the week prior — since the passage of the infrastructure bill in Congress earlier this month.
A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 53 percent of voters said they had doubts about Biden’s fitness and 47 percent did not. Asked if Biden is too old to be president, 58 percent said he was and 42 percent said he was fit enough.
PolitiFact Refuses to Correct Claim that Rittenhouse Illegally Possessed Gun After Judge Dismisses Charge
The “fact-checking” outlet Politifact is defending its August 2020 claim that Kyle Rittenhouse’s possession of an AR-15 was not “perfectly legal,” even though the gun charge against Rittenhouse was dismissed by Judge Bruce Schroeder.
On August 28, 2020 – just three days after Rittenhouse had used the rifle on the streets of Kenosha – Politifact Wisconsin tweeted, “A Facebook post says, ‘At 17 years old Kyle (Rittenhouse) was perfectly legal to be able to possess that rifle without parental supervision.’ That’s False.”
The tweet linked to a PolitiFact article, which said:
In an Aug. 27 post, one Facebook user said it was “perfectly legal” for Kyle Rittenhouse — who was arrested in Antioch, Ill., after fleeing Wisconsin — to brandish an assault-style rifle on the streets of Kenosha.
“Carrying a rifle across state lines is perfectly legal,” the poster said. “Based on the laws I can find of this area at 17 years old Kyle was perfectly legal to be able to possess that rifle without parental supervision.”
The PolitiFact article zeroed in on the phrase “perfectly legal” and opined, “Is that true? State law suggests not.”
Whether Rittenhouse violated Wisconsin law by possessing a firearm underage is the subject of ongoing litigation. But the Facebook post claimed that it was “perfectly legal” for the teenager to carry an assault-style rifle in Kenosha.
At best, that’s unproven. At worst, it’s inaccurate. Either way, we rate the post False.
On November 15, 2021, Breitbart News noted that Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the firearms charge against Rittenhouse, siding with the Defense’s claim that the law is only applicable if Rittenhouse carried a Short Barrel Rifle (SBR).
The prosecution admitted that Rittenhouse was not carrying an SBR.
Despite the dismissal, PolitiFact is standing by its claim that it is “false” to say Rittenhouse’s possession was “perfectly legal.”
The day after Schroeder dismissed the gun charge PolitiFact added an editor’s note to its piece. The note pointed to Associated Press reporting, Wisconsin lawmakers’ intentions, and claims that PolitiFact knew all along that there was a possible exception for rifles.
The editor’s note ended by saying, “These subsequent events show the grey areas of local gun laws — hardly a case of something being ‘perfectly legal.’ Our fact-check remains unchanged.”