Lack of diversity may stall Virginia voters in November

WASHINGTON – In November, Virginia voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor and an attorney general. But some voters may not identify with any of the candidates.

On the Democrats’ side, voters have Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring.

“The problem has always emerged when there are three white males on the ticket,” said University of Mary Washington political science professor Steven Farnsworth.

But for the GOP, there’s a different king of diversity problem.

“The lack of diversity is a lack of ideological diversity,” Farnsworth said.

Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson and Mark Obenshain are all from the conservative wing of the GOP.

“Although you can win of course, in a nomination struggle, with an ideologically conservative message, it’s much harder to sell that in a statewide general election,” said Farnsworth.

According to Farnsworth, while moderate Republicans may feel abandoned by the ticket, Democrats have another concern.

“A more diverse ticket can really boost turnout, be it among African-Americans or be it among women – that seems to matter a lot for the Democrats.”

Farnsworth said the two tickets combined will leave a lot of voters with no one with whom they can identify.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow @hsilverbergWTOP and WTOP on Twitter.

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