But several people familiar with the dynamic said that while Trump wasn’t told not to come, he wasn’t invited to perform with Youngkin either.
“Our campaign message embodies a personality-driven, local campaign, and we’re doing the same from a proxy standpoint,” a Youngkin advisor told POLITICO. “Glenn is at the top of the ticket and the race is between Youngkin and McAuliffe, regardless of what McAuliffe wants to make of it. The same from the standpoint of replacement. ”
Top Democrats have privately admitted in recent weeks that their failed efforts to lure Trump into a face-to-face event could help them compete on Tuesday. McAuliffe’s allies and party officials admitted they were concerned that Youngkin might get the best of both worlds with Trump’s personal absence – and benefited from Republican voters, who appear to have close ties with Trump (as emphasized by the Democrats), while he did Next to him never showed up in a way that could be politically harmful.
But for McAuliffe’s campaign and close allies, Trump’s statement teasing a possible upcoming visit was an eleventh hour invitation to try and get him back in the picture just a day after Biden pinned Youngkin for being off Trump was “embarrassed”. The McAuliffe campaign immediately emailed reporters, definitely stating that “Donald Trump is coming to Virginia to promote his hand-picked guy Glenn Youngkin”.
And McAuliffe employees told POLITICO that the campaign raised $ 500,000 on Wednesday, significantly more than an average day on the last stretch of the race.
“As of now, Donald Trump and his spokesman are saying he’s coming,” said Josh Schwerin, a Democratic strategist who has worked as a McAuliffe advisor, referring to Trump’s statements. “That it is even considered shows how much Youngkin depends on Trump’s support in his campaign, and that is something every voter in the state should be aware of.”
Schwerin suggested that Trump’s decision to tease an upcoming trip – be it because he’s swallowed the Democrats’ bait, trying to exert his primacy over the Republican Party, or just driving out smoke – is forcing Youngkin to come to terms with his lack of independence as a Resign candidate.
“If Trump comes to promote Glenn Youngkin, will Glenn Youngkin be there?” asked Schwerin, noting that Trump “does not need permission to come”.