When asked about the mailer, Gillespie spokesman Dave Abrams said Gillespie had directed his campaign not to use the term in the future.
Though analysts expect a fight to the finish in the race of Virginia governor, a slew of recent polls show Catholic Ed Gillespie trending upward.
Quinnipiac University and Washington Post/Schar School polls that showed Northam with a double-digit lead in the last month were outliers. When it trades its reputation cheaply to swing elections, voters can either choose to accept the reinforcement of their bias or treat such information with well-deserved contempt. Such a forfeit of authenticity only feeds into the idea of a counterfeit press. In that poll, Northam's lead shrunk by several percentage points from earlier this month. The Monmouth poll was taken October 12-16, while the CNU Wason poll was taken October 9-13, and the Roanoke College poll was taken October 8-13.
Given what's at stake for Democrats, it's mindboggling that someone inside the Northam campaign didn't kill the fliers before they were printed, let alone distributed.
Virginia voters are sharply divided along geographic lines. The decision was made to appease LiUNA, which contributed about $600,000 to the coordinated state Democratic campaign, said a Northam campaign official who agreed to speak freely only without attribution. But the fliers distributed in heavily Democratic Northern Virginia deleted all mention of Justin Fairfax, including his photo.
Bitecofer says history shows in Virginia that governor's races become tighter the closer to Election Day that we get as "undecideds" jump off the fence. After all, the Washington Post is the 800lb. gorilla both on the national and statewide stage. Gillespie has defended his hard-hitting immigration ads as consistent with his past stances, saying his goal is to target unlawful immigrants who often prey on other members of the immigrant community. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence that the Northam campaign altered the fliers out of racially motivated animus - Northam clearly isn't a racist, and no one should accuse him of being one. Their fury at Northam for choosing not to oppose the pipelines exceeds their opposition to Gillespie for supporting them.
In September, Northam collected donations of under $100 from nearly 7,000 people while Gillespie pulled equivalent donations from 2,700 people.