Glen Allen, Virginia — The event was billed as a conservative rally in Virginia prior to next month’s governor’s election. But it was mainly about Donald J. Trump.
To a crowd of hundreds just outside the state capital, Richmond, each speaker declared that the former president was a legitimate winner of the previous presidential election and a winner of the next presidential election. The audience praised Mr. Trump when he gave a short speech on the phone.
However, it was the speaker after Mr. Trump who pivoted from national to rural. Amanda Chase, a state senator in Amelia County who calls herself “Trump in Heels,” has clearly linked the former president to state Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. She said that to support one, you need to support the other.
“People know I’m politically incorrect, and I say exactly what I’m thinking,” Chase said. “And if I say I support Glen Youngkin, you’d better support Glen Youngkin because he’s real.”
Democratic candidate and former governor Terry McAuliffe tried to connect Yongkin to the former president, but Republican candidates tried to avoid alienating the most important suburban moderate voters, Mr. Trump. I tried to keep some distance from. Who was able to decide the result of the race? But at the grassroots level, the messages from Democrats and Republicans in Virginia are less clear.
Democrats argue that losing state-wide elections on November 2 is a bad sign for them in the medium term of 2022, Republicans agree. Democrats portray Yongkin as Trump’s acolyte, which will help pave the way for the return of the former president in 2024, but Republicans at the “Takeback Virginia” rally on Wednesday clearly do the same. Stated. They were willing to reveal what Mr Yongkin had carefully avoided.
John Fredericks, a conservative radio host who hosts the event and calls himself “Godzilla of Truth,” believes the Virginia race was stolen from Trump voters last year. He said it was the first step towards regaining power. He was one of several speakers who encouraged the audience to become electoral workers.
“Let’s win on November 2nd and send a message that America has enough,” Fredericks told the crowd. “You are a motor. You are an engine. You can change the course of American history if we vote on November 2, vote early, and become a poll watcher. It’s a sad thing. “
The disconnect between Mr. Yongkin and the political message of his base speaks of a careful line that Republicans had to walk. Moderate and independent approval of the former president remained underwater, helping President Biden score 10 points in Virginia last year, but Mr. Trump remains enthusiasm and energy among the party’s most loyal voters. Is the most powerful driving force of. Energy is of paramount importance to Virginia Republicans in out-of-year elections, where turnout is expected to drop significantly from presidential levels.
Mr. Yongkin did not attend the event in Glen Allen, but Mr. Chase spoke with the authority on behalf of the campaign, saying, “I work very closely with the Yonkin campaign.” “I hope Glenn will come in and straighten Virginia,” Trump said in a phone address. At the cash bar, where patrons ordered wine and cocktails to discuss election integrity, a collection of red signs in support of the Yongkin campaign could be brought back.
However, Mr Yongkin fired after the rally on Wednesday. The problem was the moment the speaker led the crowd with a pledge of allegiance, using a flag that activists claimed to have been brought into the Capitol during the January 6 riots. Mr. McCorriff attacked Mr. Yongkin about its use of that flag of the oath, and Mr. Yongkin kept himself away from the event.
“I’m not involved, so I don’t know,” Yongkin told reporters in reference to the episode. “But if so, you shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag. And, oh, by the way, I was very clear. There is no place of violence in America today.
Trump supporters who support Mr. Yongkin are not so annoyed by such denials.
Last month, Yongkin said he would have voted to prove the 2020 election results after previously refusing to answer the question. “I’ve repeatedly said that Joe Biden was legally elected and there was no serious fraud in Virginia’s 2020 elections,” Yongkin’s campaign said at the time.
In the 2020 elections, there is no evidence of widespread fraud, and state agencies and legislatures have repeatedly disproved Mr. Trump’s allegations of fraudulent elections. However, at the event, attendees said in an interview that they believed that Mr Yongkin was standing with them in an effort to overturn the election and oppose the Democratic agenda.
James Thornton, 47, said he didn’t follow politics before Mr. Trump’s election and is now attending a school board to protest the way he said race was taught at school. ing. And 55-year-old Roxanne Joseph Barber was handing out a petition for a court audit of Virginia’s 2020 presidential election results.
Asked what is the most important thing the campaign wants to know about voters like her, Joseph Barber stopped to gather himself.
“The election wasn’t honest, and we know it,” she said. “So why aren’t we angry? Of course we are angry.”
Chase, who ran for governor in opposition to Yongkin before becoming a supporter of the campaign, said in a speech that he did not trust the 2020 election results, suggesting that Yongkin agreed with her. bottom.
She boasted of traveling to Arizona, South Dakota, and Texas to meet with other state legislators interested in finding evidence that the election was stolen. And she said voters should trust that he was on their side, even if Yongkin dismissed Mr. Trump’s allegations of fraud during a discussion with Mr. McCorriff.
“I know what’s going on, and the Yongkin campaign knows what’s going on,” Chase told the crowd. In the debate, she added that Mr Yongkin could not be given “to use Democratic ammunition against us and send independents with Terry McAuliffe.”
Peter Peterson, a veteran in his 60s, called his most important issue, electoral fraud, while planning to vote for Yongkin against the agenda of democracy. He said he noticed Mr. Yongkin’s hesitation about things.
“Everyone treats voting stuff like a third rail,” Peterson said. “No one wants to come out and say the vote was stolen.”
Peterson, who traveled about 100 miles from Virginia Beach for the rally, said he preferred blunt traumatic political means like Mr. Trump over candidates for sophisticated speeches. The Glen Allen Rally lacked polish.
The speakers appeared to be at odds with each other in expressing their loyalty to Mr. Trump. There were also calls for Mr. Biden’s arrest. Others explain their next election bet by comparing vaccination obligations to the situation in Nazi Germany and by causing violent periods in American history, including the Civil War and the American Revolutionary War. bottom.
Arkansas right-wing commentator and senator candidate Jean Morgan, who spoke at the event, said conservatives should see themselves as revolutionary soldiers at a later date.
“As far as I know, you still have shoes. You have your clothes, and I know you have a gun.”
The crowd cheered in response.