Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) told the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Wednesday “there’s not a woman CEO in America that wants to go to a state where someone’s banning abortions.”
I have had two abortions in my life, and I will tell you that they brought me no success, happiness or empowerment.
— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) October 14, 2021
Abortion has become a central issue in the tight gubernatorial race between McAuliffe and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.
McAuliffe boasted to the Chamber of Commerce about his entirely pro-abortion stand as governor, one he associated with the position of being pro-women and “welcoming”:
I also made sure that Virginia was an open and welcoming state. We had some, as you all know, the most anti-women, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-environment legislation in America. I ended all that nonsense. I kept all 16 women’s clinics open. They would not be open today had I not got elected.
In July, McAuliffe touted his endorsements by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia and NARAL.
“I’ve always been a brick wall against attacks on reproductive health care and that won’t stop now,” he vowed on Twitter. “As Governor, I’ll fight to enshrine the right to choose into the Virginia constitution.”
Proud to have the support of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia @PPAVirginia. I’ve always been a brick wall against attacks on reproductive health care and that won’t stop now. As Governor, I'll fight to enshrine the right to choose into the Virginia constitution. pic.twitter.com/iNKIMm5MAB
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) July 7, 2021
I’m proud to be endorsed by @NARALVirginia. With a right-wing Supreme Court ready to hack away at the right to choose and Glenn Youngkin promising to ban abortion, reproductive freedom is at stake in this race.
I’ll always fight to protect the right to choose. pic.twitter.com/bySHCdytge
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) July 19, 2021
Planned Parenthood Action Fund donated $250,000 to McAuliffe’s campaign just between August 31 and September 28.
CNBC reported Friday abortion and education have taken the spotlight in the Virginia gubernatorial race, with the candidates’ most expensive ads focused on both of these issues.
According to the report:
Three of McAuliffe’s most expensive ads, which cost from $510,000 to $922,000 to produce and run, have attacked Youngkin for his abortion stance. They are among the former governor’s most aired ads on broadcast or cable television, with each airing over 1,100 times, according to AdImpact data.
During this week’s 8News/Urban One Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Forum, McAuliffe said abortion is the most important issue in the governor’s race, and repeated he would enshrine Roe V. Wade into Virginia’s constitution.
When asked about what changes he might make to the current abortion laws in Virginia, McAuliffe responded, “I’m glad you asked this … because there probably is not a more important question to ask right now.”
WATCH: Terry McAuliffe says abortion is the most important issue pic.twitter.com/CDQFApDE2j
— Team Youngkin (@TeamYoungkin) October 22, 2021
Monmouth University Polling Institute has McAuliffe and Youngkin “locked in a close battle” in the governor’s race, with Youngkin making the most recent gains.
According to Wednesday’s polling report:
Youngkin (46%) and McAuliffe (46%) hold identical levels of support among all registered voters. This marks a shift from prior Monmouth polls where the Democrat held a 5-point lead (48% to 43% in September and 47% to 42% in August). A range of probabilistic likely electorate models* shows a potential outcome – if the election was held today – of anywhere from a 3-point lead for McAuliffe (48% to 45%) to a 3-point lead for Youngkin (48% to 45%). This is the first time the Republican has held a lead in Monmouth polls this cycle.
This is true women’s leadership. https://t.co/35Jr0vEGDG
— MarjorieDannenfelser (@marjoriesba) October 14, 2021
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Polling Institute, especially noted that suburban women in Virginia are not registering as enthusiastic for Democrats as they have in the past.
“Suburban women, especially in Northern Virginia, have been crucial to the sizable victories Democrats have enjoyed in the commonwealth since 2017,” he said.
“However, their support is not registering at the same level this time around,” he observed. “This is due partly to a shift in key issues important to these voters and partly to dampened enthusiasm among the party faithful.”