Chris Graham: Going ‘most electable’ doesn’t always work out for Democratic voters
Terry McAuliffe is the latest in a long line of “most electable” Democratic candidates.
Which should come with a warning label: because going the “most electable” route doesn’t always work out the way Democratic primary voters expect it will.
Joe Biden is president now, and Donald Trump isn’t, so, that one, yep, worked out.
That Donald Trump was president at all is because Democrats went the Hillary Clinton route in 2016.
Ralph Northam, hard as it is to figure now, was the perceived “most electable” candidate in 2017, in his race for the gubernatorial nomination with Tom Perriello.
Northam beat Ed Gillespie by nine points – in part because of Trump backlash, in large part because Gillespie decided to run as a Trump Lite against the headwind of that Trump backlash.
McAuliffe himself was the “most electable” candidate in 2013, so much so that the rest of the potential field – Perriello, Chap Petersen, Ward Armstrong – waved the white flag.
McAuliffe beat uber-conservative Ken Cuccinelli by a scary-close 2.5-point margin.
“Most electable” is an issue again with Republicans nominating Glenn Youngkin, net worth: $200 million, hardscrabble upbringing, Trump Lite, the GOP’s “most electable.”
McAuliffe has a big lead in the polls in the crowded Democratic Party primary, which will come down to The Macker and the two Jennifers – Carroll Foy and McClellan.
2021, on the heels of 2020, could be set up to be another change election, on the heels of Kamala Harris, an African American woman, being elected vice president.
There’s momentum, basically, toward the Jennifers – African American women who have solid backing among party activists.
The nomination of Youngkin has even some of the supporters of the Jennifers thinking “most electable” with an eye toward November.
Youngkin has millions from his own personal wealth to throw at the race, and the ability to trade on his contacts from the hedge fund world to raise millions more.
Could either of the Jennifers keep up if they got the nomination?
You don’t have to ask that question with McAuliffe. He’ll literally wrestle an alligator to get a check from a donor.
Does that make McAuliffe the “most electable”?
He served a term as governor, and the best thing you can say about his term as governor is that you can’t remember anything about it.
He can raise money. Money wins elections.
That should be his campaign slogan.
The “most electable” candidate doesn’t always win.
And even when they do, you have to ask, does it work out for us, in terms of moving things forward?
Story by Chris Graham