Campaign for Virginia governor grows nasty in final week

Posted at 1:57 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 17:55:45-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A pro-Northam ad released on Twitter on Monday by an outside group has drawn the ire of Republicans.

The ad from the Latino Victory Fund, a political action committee, shows a pickup truck with a Confederate Flag and an Ed Gillespie campaign sticker chasing children. It ends with a disembodied voice saying, "Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American dream?"

David Abrams, a Gillespie campaign spokesman, called the ad "sickening" and "vile" from a "desperate campaign" in a tweet. In a statement, campaign manager Chris Leavitt said, "This is not an attack on Ed Gillespie anymore. This is an all out attack on the people of Virginia. This latest ad gives a clear indication of just what Ralph Northam and his national Democratic allies think of all of us, and it’s sickening."

In response to the ad, Northam campaign spokesperson Ofirah Yheskel said, "Independent groups are denouncing Ed Gillespie because he has run the most divisive, fear mongering campaign in modern history. It is not shocking that communities of color are scared of what his Trump-like policy positions mean for them."

A new poll out on Monday from Quinnipiac University gives Northam a 17-point lead over Gillespie, but that appears to be an outlier. The average from Real Clear Politics gives Northam just about a three-point lead.

"The polling has been all over the place, mostly suggesting a lead for Northam, but there have been some polls suggesting a tied race or something of a tiny lead for Gillespie," said Dr. Jesse Richman, a political science professor at Old Dominion University. "Keep your seat belts fastened. It's not going to get any smoother."