Feb 8, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Blackface and MeToo crisis could put Virginia in play in 2020

Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee guards a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond. (Steve Helber/AP)

"The political crisis in Virginia threatens to turn a state that has trended Democratic back into a battleground, a development that could complicate the party's effort to defeat President Trump next year," AP's Bill Barrow reports.

Why it matters: "Virginia's increasingly diverse and urban population has fueled Democratic victories at the state and presidential level for a decade. But Democrats are anxious that the dizzying developments could suddenly halt their progress."

The lead story of today's WashPost ... "Pressure to oust Northam is easing":

  • "Party leaders have urged elected Democrats to stay off television, say as little as possible publicly and wait to try to regroup until the situation becomes clearer."
  • "While they continue to call publicly for Northam to resign, most Democrats now want the governor to stay in office at least until there is clarity on the issues involving" the lieutenant governor and attorney general, both Ds.
  • "Because the line of succession goes from the governor to lieutenant governor to attorney general, keeping [attorney general Mark] Herring in office is a backstop against handing the Executive Mansion to the third in line, the House Speaker [Kirk Cox], who is a Republican.
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