Virginia Democrats are turning out Tuesday to vote for Terry McAuliffe but some are holding their nose as they cast their ballot for the former governor.
Voters in the Democratic stronghold of northern Virginia said they were not excited about Mr. McAuliffe but turned out to support the Democratic Party.
Arlington Democratic Party volunteer Justin Boadner, 23, was standing outside of a polling place encouraging people to vote for the party. He said he’s seen support fueled by more of an anti-Trump sentiment than excitement for Mr. McAuliffe.
“They’re not really supporting our candidates,” Mr. Boadner said. “It’s more of a fear of Trumpism or having someone that supports Donald Trump in office, but they’re hating our candidate.”
He cited as an example a female voter who expressed a negative view of Mr. McAuliffe‘s candidacy as she came out of the polling station.
“I had one lady come and say ‘I voted for the Democrats, but seriously Terry McAuliffe?’ Mr. Boadner recalled. “It’s a little concerning to many Democrats.”
Mr. McAuliffe is neck-and-neck for the governorship with Republican Glenn Youngkin.
McAuliffe voters also expressed worn-out enthusiasm over Democrats on the national stage, which is also reflected in President Biden’s sinking approval rating.
Mr. McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, hurt his standing with suburban voters with comments about limiting parents’ input in public schools.
In his final campaign rally, which was held in heavily Democratic Fairfax County on Monday, Mr. McAuliffe drew a crowd of just a few hundred.
“I’m seeing that people want him to win as a Democrat,” said Alice Gordezky, 69, of Arlington. She added that Democrats in Washington, along with Mr. Biden, have made it difficult to rally support for Mr. McAuliffe in Virginia.
“It’s so hard, and at this point, sadly, [Mr. Biden’s] approval rating is the lowest it’s been,” Ms. Gordezky said.
Jadyn Marks, 23, of Arlington, said she planned to vote for the Democratic ticket but did not feel strongly about Mr. McAuliffe.
Ms. Marks, who is a law student at Georgetown University, said she wants to see more progressive candidates running rather than centrist ones like Mr. McAuliffe has painted himself to be.
“I have kind of mixed feelings on the Democratic Party as a whole. I think it’s too centrist for me,” she said.
Mr. McAuliffe spent the last weeks of his campaign bringing in prominent Democrats to help shore up enthusiasm among his base and enhance turnout.
The Democrat expressed his pleas to voters on Monday to get them to turn out for him on Election Day.
“Folks, I need you. Tomorrow’s the big day,” Mr. McAuliffe told his supporters. “Do not sleep for 24 hours.”
In a fundraising email sent out Tuesday, the McAuliffe campaign acknowledged the razor closeness of the election.
“If we don’t see that turnout, it’s over,” the email read. “Glenn Youngkin will be Virginia’s next governor and everything we’ve fought for will be gone, just like that.”