Even though former President Barack Hussein Obama is no longer in the White House, that doesn’t mean he isn’t still pulling strings to help the Democrat Party.
Indeed, according to Politico, Obama has waded into Virginia’s bellwether elections ahead of next week’s pivotal general election by recording robocalls.
Two of the robocalls he’s recorded thus far “will be sent to over 100,000 households in key battleground districts between now and the election next week,” Politico reported.
Another robocall, set to start transmitting on Thursday, will urge voters to cast an early ballot. A fourth robocall, set to be transmitted on Election Day, will encourage voters to head to the polls and cast their ballot.
“The calls are fairly generic turnout messages, urging voters to cast their ballot without focusing on any particular policy issue — like abortion, which Virginia Democrats have centered their campaign on,” Politico notes.
“The people we elect in the state Senate and House of Delegates will make decisions that affect your everyday life. Now is the time to make our voices heard,” the former president reportedly says in the Election Day call.
There are important elections happening right now in states across the country. This Vote Early Day, make sure you’re registered to vote at https://t.co/NKXRGNgbZX, vote early if you can, or make a plan to vote on Election Day, November 7th. pic.twitter.com/erG2791n8L
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 26, 2023
Of course, the next question is why is Obama interfering in Virginia? The answer is two-fold — many view the elections as a bellwether for 2024, and many on the left are hoping to vote in Democrats to check Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s power.
If Republicans were to over-perform, on the other hand, Youngkin could move forward with a proposed 15-week abortion ban that’s thus far been stalled because Virginia’s General Assembly is so bitterly divided, with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans controlling the House.
It is therefore in effect a high-stakes election — and voters know it.
“The high stakes for Virginia were on the minds of many voters who cast early ballots Saturday in Leesburg, the Loudoun County seat. Analysts say not many independent voters are up for grabs in Virginia—mirroring the national political environment—and the state’s races will come down to turnout among core voters from both parties,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Virginia is the big game in town” is how William & Mary Government Professor John McGlennon put it in an interview with W&M News.
“Virginia has attracted a lot of interest recently because it is undergoing some significant changes in terms of electoral outcomes. It has shifted from a reliably Republican state at the end of the 20th century into one that was moving strongly toward the Democrats. But recently, with the election of Governor Glenn Youngkin, Virginia has again been seen as a state that is more purple, more contested. Furthermore, our state legislature is closely divided, with only a handful of seats in both houses determining which party is in control,” he said.
“In fact, Virginia is one of only two states in the nation with different parties each controlling one house of the legislature (Pennsylvania is the other). So that has caused a lot of people to pay attention, especially since when the Democrats had majorities in the legislature and the governorship, they made a lot of changes in Virginia policies, some of which the current governor has been trying to reverse. At this point, his party controls the House of Delegates, and they are two seats short of a majority in the Senate, and so the question of whether he can get that so-called trifecta of control of both houses of the legislature and the governorship is really what this election is all about,” he added.
The good news is that Youngkin has the upper hand, as he’s reportedly been polling better than Democrat President Joe Biden.
“This, in spite of millions of dollars in attack ads painting Youngkin and the GOP as extreme and out of touch on abortion,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser noted in a column this week for The Hill.
That said, it all centers around abortion. After Roe v. Wade was overturned in the summer of 2022, Republicans suffered devastating defeats in the 2022 midterm elections. Yet despite this loss, Youngkin is primarily running on his abortion agenda because he’s that confident he can reverse the GOP’s losses on abortion.
The big difference between Youngkin and the 2022 election’s losers, according to Dannenfelser, is that he’s fully embracing abortion and not sidestepping or avoiding the issue.
“Youngkin and the Virginia GOP aren’t cowering. Candidates across the country should take note of their leadership. They are rebuking their opponents’ lies and making their own stances clear. Youngkin himself defends life with joy and optimism — no wonder some say he looks presidential,” she wrote in her column.
Whether or not Obama’s robocalls will have any effect in staving off what appears to be an impending victory for Youngkin’s administration remains to be seen.