“The comparison to 2020 isn’t really a good one,” said Simon Vance, a data adviser to McAuliffe. “What you’re seeing is not any drop-off, but people reverting back to behaviors they’ve done for years.”
The McAuliffe campaign pointed to the large number of mail ballots that have been requested but not yet returned — around 175,000. “We know those are our people and we’re aggressively chasing them,” Vance said.
To boost his get-out-the-vote effort, McAuliffe is welcoming top Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and President Biden, to campaign with him in coming days. Last Sunday, Stacy Abrams, the Georgia voting rights activist, visited three churches in Norfolk, Va., and appeared with McAuliffe at a rally outside an early voting site. “We’ve got to get everybody out to vote,” McAuliffe said at the event.
Total in-person early voters in Norfolk that day was 370. The Youngkin campaign called that an anemic figure. “If Terry’s base was excited, that number should have been at least three times that,” Davison asserted.
Vance disagreed. He said that McAuliffe was on track to have the turnout needed to win.
“If we’re seeing 70, 65 percent of the total electorate voting on Election Day, that’s where the real story will be told,” he said.
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