Statement on Democrats’ Virginia Shellacking

Tonight, Terry McAuliffe lost his bid for Governor of Virginia. In response, Battle Born Collective, Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement, and United We Dream Action released the following statement: 

“We told you so. Literally. What happened in Virginia is what happens when Democrats fail to take on the GOP’s divide-and-conquer racism and motivate people to turn out. The McAuliffe campaign had no comprehensive pro-worker economic message against a literal private equity magnate. It had no positive message on what the next four years would be like for Virginians. It had no rebuttal to Republican race-baiting bullshit. Put simply: it was a campaign designed to fail. 

“Terry McAuliffe ran the milquetoast campaign he wanted to run—where every other word he uttered was “Donald Trump” instead of focusing on the issues voters cared about the most. The DC establishment consolidated support behind their one-time rainmaker and in doing so sidelined two potentially history-making Black women running for the same office. There should be no questions or scapegoats about why specific demographics didn’t turn out. Terry McAuliffe offered an uninspired return to yesterday, while voters were focused on what must come next.  

“This was a controlled experiment for what NOT to do in 2022. This is what it looks like when Democrats get caught flat-footed and let Republicans dictate the terms of the debate by manufacturing a fake “education crisis.” It does not have to be this way. There is still time to adopt an inclusive economic message that crowds out racist dog whistles. There is still time to go on offense and fight for the very voters who powered Democratic victories in 2020. 

“This should be a wake up call for Democrats: Give people something to vote for or watch yourselves become the very thing they resoundingly vote against.”