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McAuliffe’s backslapping political brand put to test in 2021


AP National Political Writer

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Terry McAuliffe won Virginia’s 2013 governor’s race by embracing his own brand of personal politics that rely on decades-old friendships, backslapping charisma and tell-it-like-it-is authenticity. But in the closing days of the 2021 election, it’s unclear whether the tactics that made McAuliffe one of the Democratic Party’s most influential voices can still excite voters. McAuliffe is locked in a tight race with Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin. Much like Biden, McAuliffe is in some ways a throwback to the politics of the past. The Democratic Party has become much more diverse, much less friendly to candidates with ties to wealthy donors and much more sensitive to the behavior of its leaders.

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