Virginia is heating up to be a key battleground state in the fight for gun rights. It’s also not looking very good for Republicans as things currently stand. After all, looking at spending alone paints a pretty bleak picture.
However, it seems that some Virginia Republicans have decided to try and sound like Democrats. Even the New York Times has noticed it.
As Glenn Davis seeks a fourth term in Virginia’s House of Delegates, he is going door to door with campaign literature touting his role in expanding Medicaid, his efforts to address gun violence and his support for L.G.B.T.Q. anti-discrimination legislation. There’s a photo of him with the state’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam.
Yet Mr. Davis is a Republican. He voted with his party to adjourn a special legislative session on gun control that Mr. Northam called this summer — 90 minutes after it began. When he campaigned for lieutenant governor in 2017, he said he was “running to do exactly what Donald Trump did in Washington.”
Now, he is among a coterie of Republicans who are campaigning on issues long identified with Democrats ahead of Tuesday’s elections for the Virginia legislature, shifting away from a Republican base that in the age of Trump can no longer win suburban elections on its own.
“We have a little bit of a messaging issue, we do,” Mr. Davis said in an interview this week.
Republican strategists in the state acknowledge that the top issues for voters in key districts in next week’s elections are expanding health care coverage and enacting gun control, political terrain that favors Democrats.
Here’s the big problem, though. Backing gun control as a Republican isn’t likely to win you very many votes, if any.
It can damn sure lose them, though.
Yes, it seems that many people want gun control in Virginia, at least according to the polls. However, what fails to be asked is just how important gun control is to a voter.
You see, while trying to appeal to these gun control-supporting voters, Republicans often don’t realize that gun control falls behind a lot of other issues, thinks like the economy, crime, entitlements, and so on. Embracing leftist positions on guns doesn’t suddenly make voters forget all about their other positions.
But backing gun control will damn sure turn off gun rights activists. They’ll turn on such candidates in a heartbeat. They’ve done it before and will do it again. They should think that just because they’re the Republican in the race, gun rights activists won’t have any choice. We do, and that often means just staying home or voting for a write-in candidate.
After all, what good does it do to have a Republican in office if they’re going to offer up gun control anyway?
Perhaps the worst part is that this is a lesson they should have already known, but apparently didn’t and now it’s probably too late for them to reverse course. Instead, they’re going to have to see it through and ultimately hand the state completely over to anti-gunners.