By Robin Cohen / Herndon, Va.
Once again, political posters pepper the lawns of Virginia. This time, it’s a close gubernatorial race: Terry McAuliffe versus Glen Youngkin. McAuliffe, a Democrat, is a seasoned politician with a history of political successes including a term as Governor of Virginia from 2014-2018. Youngkin, a Republican, is a wealthy businessman making his first stab at politics, aiming high for governor of our Commonwealth. He is a slavish supporter of Donald Trump and will try to enact similar distasteful policies.
The race is being watched around the country as it may serve as a prediction of the 2022 midterm elections. The stakes are high. Issues such as vaccine mandates, school curriculum, and abortion rights are on the line.
When the race started several months ago, I felt confident that McAuliffe would win. Virginia has gone blue in the presidential elections since 2008 with a significant lead for Joe Biden in the last election. But the voter turnout for a gubernatorial election is traditionally much lower than a presidential one. This puts the Democrats at a disadvantage.
Youngkin’s deep pockets have funded a very costly campaign. This has resulted in an onslaught of TV political ads the likes of which I have never seen other than in a presidential election year. The ads (on both sides) are typical political ads, short sound bites with no substance and lots of misinformation. Sadly, that seems to work. Both sides are doing their best to tear down the opponent without saying anything about what they themselves would do for the voters.
Once again, I find myself in a position of disbelief as I drive around Northern Virginia and see so many Youngkin posters. The polls have shifted from a healthy lead for McAuliffe to a very narrow margin. It will come down to getting voters to the polls on Tuesday, November 2nd. I’m holding my breath!
Robin Cohen has been married to Insider Neil Cohen for 42 years, with two grown sons, Daniel and Steven. Robin and her husband live in Herndon, Virginia where she works as a clinical social worker specializing in couples’ therapy. She has been selected twice by the Washingtonian Magazine as “Top Couples Therapist.” Cohen was a former adjunct faculty at Virginia Tech’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program where she worked as a clinical supervisor and was part of two research teams. Her favorite quote comes from the British psychiatrist, John Bowlby. “All behavior makes sense given its context.” When not working, Robin enjoys playing the piano, reading, traveling and ballroom dancing with Neil.