VIRGINIA (WAVY) — Tuesday is Primary Day in Virginia. Republicans and Democrats are going to the polls to vote in each party’s primary, and the winners in each primary face off in the general election in November.
Political experts will be watching these races from across the country. In many ways, they will be a referendum on President Donald Trump. We know that’s true by watching a recent campaign ad put on air with serious rotation by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s campaign for governor. It is clear Northam’s strategy is to double-down against President Trump.
“I’m listening carefully to Donald Trump and I think he is a narcissistic maniac,” Northam says in the commercial.
President Trump’s former Virginia Campaign Manager Corey Stewart is running for the Republican nomination to face the Democratic winner. He’s seen that ad and has a lot to say about it.
“People are sick and tired of this disrespect that these ultra-liberal left-wing people like Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello are showing to our president.”
Stewart is actually wrapping his arms around President Trump, who fired him as the Trump Campaign Manager in Virginia.
“If Republicans nominate me — an anti-establishment candidate, a fighter, someone who is not afraid of controversy, someone who has taken on the issue of illegal immigration, someone who will fight — that shows the Trump revolution in 2016 continues on the state stage here in Virginia.”
Republican State Senator Frank Wagner says he’s the only Republican candidate with Richmond experience.
“I have 25 years experience. I am on the Finance Committee, I understand the budget,” the senator said. “If you want a governor who can hit the ground running, then I am the only candidate who can do this in the race.”
Wagner is trying to draw contrast with conservative leader Ed Gillespie, who says, “I got a plan to get Virginia growing again, and we need to get Virginia growing again. We have had five years of slow economic growth. We could be doing much, much better.”
Wagner counters against Gillespie; both seen as establishment candidates.
“If you want a lobbyist for governor, then vote for Ed Gillespie,” Wagner said. “That’s what he did and that’s how he made all his money.”
Then there’s Stewart, who says he is the non-establishment candidate.
“We don’t need more politicians like Frank Wagner. They are in the system. We need an outsider. Someone who is able to govern.”
Polling, for what it’s worth, has shown Ed Gillespie with a commanding lead since last June. That is until the most recent poll announced this past weekend. That poll of over 3,000 people shows Corey Stewart leading 42 percent to Gillespie’s 41 percent. Wagner is behind at 16 percent.
When you go to the polls Tuesday, you can only vote in one of the primaries. Poll workers won’t let you vote in both.