They're calling it for Northam. And already the "OMG morally bankrupt centrist RepubliCON in sheep's clothing JUST LIKE HILLARY ALL OVER AGAIN" hot takes begin.Nevermind that their platforms were so similar that I couldn't make up my fucking mind and watching one of their debates made me even more undecided. Honestly, the hound dog was the deciding factor because look at that precious doggo.eta https://twitter.com/Nate_Cohn/status/874784547489165312jesus christ, my people are dumb.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, the sitting lieutenant governor and a physician, has positioned himself as a champion of abortion rights. Republican rival Ed Gillespie said he'd like to see the procedure banned, with exceptions for rape, incest and to save the mother's life.The Republican-controlled state legislature has tried for years to restrict abortion, foiled by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who has vetoed bills to defund Planned Parenthood and says the governor's mansion is the "brick wall" against attempts to limit women's reproductive rights.
Gillespie has tried to play down abortion and instead focus on the economy and public safety. Asked about Gillespie's views on abortion, his spokesman, Dave Abrams, responds that Northam's views "are outside the mainstream" and that the lieutenant governor supports late-term abortions -- which are illegal in Virginia and opposed by most voters.Northam has said that the timing of abortions should be determined by a woman and her doctor, but he does not want to change the state law that limits late-term abortions.The number of abortions performed in Virginia declined by one-third between 2009 and 2015, according to state data. The decline coincided with a rollback of abortion rights by the state's past GOP governor, Robert F. McDonnell, whose term ended in 2014.In 2011, he signed legislation regulating abortion clinics as hospitals -- a move that critics said was meant to drive the clinics out of business. The regulations have since been dropped by the state health board dominated by McAuliffe appointees.McDonnell in 2012 also signed a bill mandating abdominal ultrasounds before abortion. As originally written, the bill would have required women seeking an abortion early in a pregnancy to undergo a vaginal ultrasound. It made Virginia fodder for late-night comedians.Northam, then a state lawmaker, raised his profile -- and won the allegiance of abortion rights supporters -- with a speech on the floor of the Senate where he said the ultrasounds would be about as useful as a probe of a bottle of Gatorade.The proposed requirement of an invasive ultrasound was ultimately defeated. But it continues to resonate in this year's down-ballot races.The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Jill Vogel, was the sponsor of the ultrasound legislation, and she is trying to defend it against attacks by Democratic rival Justin Fairfax.