With the election set for November 2 rapidly approaching, the race to be Virginia’s next governor between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin is shaping up for a photo finish.
A new poll from the Trafalgar Group indicates that Youngkin has less than one percentage point at 48.4 to 47.5 percent over McAuliffe. That poll and others are showing a virtual tie within the margin of error, with Youngkin coming from behind in recent days.
Now the largest power company in the state is pushing money to a Democratic political action committee to attack ads against Youngkin from the right.
Dominion Energy has funneled $200,000 through its PAC to Accountability Virginia PAC, a “murky political group” connected to prominent Democrats. That PAC is now running attack ads against Youngkin “from the right,” according to Axios.
The latest donation comes in addition to “four cash infusions” since July totaling $250,000. The donations from Dominion Energy are the largest to any statewide PAC in 2021. The contributions come after McAuliffe’s public pledge that he would not accept any donations from Dominion.
Accountability Virginia PAC’s ads have targeted conservative voters in the state, calling into question Youngkin’s record on gun rights. One ad says that although the NRA backed President Trump, they “REFUSED to endorse” Youngkin. It went on to say that “we can’t trust Youngkin” on guns, and he should tell the truth about where he stands.
Dominion Energy started by defending the contributions to the PAC but has since backed away. CEO Robert Blue has allegedly told employees that Dominion is asking that its contributions to Accountability Virginia PAC be returned in an internal email.
His message said that although Dominion had been familiar with the PAC’s sponsors, the energy giant “failed to vet” what the group intended to do by way of advertising.
The controversial PAC was still running attack ads against Youngkin using the NRA theme as late as Thursday. There were no reports on whether the PAC had returned any of the political donations received from Dominion to date.