The gubernatorial election in Virginia takes place in less than two weeks, and, the latest polls among Independent voters show Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin is rising in popularity. This is likely in part to some comments Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe made regarding Virginia parents and their role in the education of their own children.
When asked by a reporter in late September, McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” This comment came at a time when the Loudoun County School Board members and local parents have reached a boiling point.
Loudoun County Schools has been at the midst of turmoil as parents have been protesting the implementation of Critical Race Theory into the schools’ curriculum. However, it was revealed in the last month that the Loudoun County Schools allegedly allowed a student who had assaulted a student to “transfer quietly” to another school. The accused student then allegedly sexually assaulted another student at a new school.
When the father of the student who had been assaulted in the Loudoun County Schools found out, he showed up at a school board meeting. The meeting got so out of hand that the school board had the man arrested.
Between the alleged assault and the school board’s handling of the situation coupled with the parents’ overall disapproval of the implementation of CRT in the Loudoun County schools, McAuliffe’s words may have cost him a great deal of support.
Just a week ago, polls of likely voters had McAuliffe and Youngkin with roughly fifty percent of the vote (when the margin of error is considered). The most current poll measured the preferences of independent voters, which is often a fairly accurate mirror of how the election will play out. This poll gave Youngkin a 56% of votes with McAuliffe’s poll numbers at 39 percent.
McAuliffe’s comments are reflective of the position many political candidates seem to have taken as of late – far removed from the voters who he would be elected to represent.
U.S. Army veteran, Joe Mobley, relayed common consensus among voters: “It’ him demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding of how the government works. The school board is elected by the parents, the parents are the authority, the citizens are the authority over the school board, and actually, over all governments in the United States.” Mobley is a resident of Virginia with three children. He believes that McAuliffe’s comments will drive voter turnout for Republican Glenn Youngkin.
It’s noteworthy that McAuliffe has already served one term as Governor of Virginia. He left office with a rather good reputation among Virginia voters, but his latest comments, paired with the Department of Justice’s move to interject itself into this melee in Virginia’s school board issues, that could cost McAuliffe the election.
His Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, argued during a recent gubernatorial debate that parents most definitely should be involved in the curriculum choices of their children’s schools. Most conservatives agree with Youngkin, especially since the National School Board Association has contacted the Department of Justice for assistance in dealing with parents they fear may become violent at school board meetings.
Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled U. S. Attorney General Merrick Garland about the swift reply of the Justice Department in committing to assisting the Virginia school boards in investigating parents they believe could become violent at school boards. Although Garland denied that parents had been labeled “domestic terrorists,” he could not clarify why the DOG promised to utilize the Patriot Act to investigate some more vocal parents at local school boards.
Social media was blazing with comments from parents across Virginia regarding McAuliffe’s comments. They all share the same resounding message: we are the parents, and we decide – not Terry McAuliffe – what is best for our children in school.
The Virginia gubernatorial election is on November 2, 2021.