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Young Not Stupid: While McAuliffe Brought in Dem Heavyweights, Youngkin Harnessed Parents' Anger

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The following is an installment in a weekly series of commentary articles by Cameron Arcand, host of the Young Not Stupid interview series and a contributor to The Western Journal.

I don’t live in Virginia, but the Beltway media sure wants to make me feel like I do.

That’s because the Virginia gubernatorial election is this Tuesday, and the race is tightening.

Republican Glenn Youngkin had a jaw-dropping 8-point lead over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a Fox News poll of likely Virginia voters released this week. The poll was conducted from Sunday to Wednesday with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

The poll could be an outlier, but the Real Clear Politics average of all polling still shows Youngkin with a slim 0.9 percent lead.

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For those wondering why a reliably liberal state like Virginia would have a gubernatorial race this close, look no farther than Washington, D.C.

The commonwealth tends to elect governors from the opposing party of the current president, according to The New York Times.

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has tumbled in Virginia, yet McAuliffe has still used him and Democratic heavyweights such as former President Barack Obama and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in a desperate attempt to build excitement for his campaign.

So what is Youngkin’s secret weapon? Angry parents.

Do you think Youngkin will win Virginia's gubernatorial election?

Loudoun County, Virginia, has become ground zero in the fight against the woke agenda in schools. Tensions hit a boiling point when it was revealed that the Loudoun County school board allegedly covered up the sexual assault of a female student by a male in a girls’ restroom.

Parents are speaking out despite official efforts to clamp down on dissent. Even students held a walkout protest this week.

Youngkin has sided with parents.

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“You believe school systems should tell children what to do,” he told McAuliffe during a debate last month, according to National Review. “I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.”

McAuliffe’s response? “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions. … I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Telling parents the government is in charge of their children’s education may have been an act of political suicide. Youngkin has been taking full advantage, holding “Parents Matter” rallies on the campaign trail, according to NBC News.

In the aforementioned Fox poll, 56 percent of likely voters who are parents said they would vote for Youngkin, as opposed to only 42 percent for McAuliffe.

Parents are kept out of the loop when it comes to their children’s public education, allowing the liberal agenda to seep in. Many are waking up to the mess and starting to get politically active, and Youngkin sympathizes with them.

Public schools are key to making the American dream accessible for all. We cannot pretend that everyone can afford to send their kids to a private school or homeschool them.

Conservative parents and students must be willing to take on the political interests of teachers unions and school boards.

Whether it’s speaking with a school administrator or teacher, running for your local school board, or simply voting for people who prioritize parental rights in education like Glenn Youngkin — it all plays a part in taking back another institution ruled by the left.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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