One week to go and ads take a nasty turn in Virginia governor's race

One week until Virginians go to the polling booths

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)-- One week to go until election day in Virginia, and things are heating up on the campaign trail and over the airwaves.

In the Latino Victory fund ad, minority children are frightened in a nightmare, as they're chased by a pickup truck, with a Confederate flag, with an Ed Gillespie for governor bumper sticker on the back.

Meanwhile, the Gillespie campaign has been running a series of commercials that tie Democrat Ralph Northam to MS-13 gang and to a sex offender.

"The ads themselves, you don't see a lot of positive ones, they're primarily negative, mud-slinging ads, and they're ratcheting up in the last week before the election," said Old Dominion University Assistant Political Science Professor Ben Melusky. 

He said such ads are a fact of life.

"In some cases, they can mobilize the electorate in your favor. If you put a negative ad out there, that fears and frightens or brings up some controversial information," he said. ""It can mobilize the electorate to come out against that candidate., but it's a double edge sword. If you go negative, you could have the electorate backlash against you."

What do the two candidates themselves have to say about the commercials? Plenty.

On Tuesday, Gillespie went on "Fox and Friends" to denounce the Latino Victory Fund ad, saying its arrival makes for "a sad day for Virginia", adding that the commercial is a new low in politics here."

Northam has weighed in on the Gillespie commercial linking him to the child pornographer. In an ad of his own Northam called the Gillespie commercial, "despicable."

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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