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Outgoing Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a long-time Clinton ally and former fundraiser, may have gotten a boost for his eventual 2020 Presidential run with the Virginia election results last week. McAuliffe is term-limited since Virginia allows only a single four-year term for Governor. The timing sets him up nicely to announce pursuit of the 2020 Democratic nomination.

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The Washington Examiner reports on McAuliffe’s rising stock:

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who has been stuck at the bottom of all the 2020 presidential polls, saw his political stock soar last week when his party scored huge election victories, cementing his legacy and giving him a platform to run on.

“Certainly Tuesday night was a triumph for McAuliffe, who looks like a potential if not likely presidential contender. His pitch is simple: ‘We took on Trump in Virginia and won,’” said Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics Sabato Crystal Ball.

While an anti-Trump wave certainly helped Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam succeed McAuliffe, several insiders credit the governor with restoring a broken party organization and keeping many of his promises for the big win.

“I think he can make just as compelling a case as anybody at this point. He was consistently a popular governor, he followed through on a lot of his promises, he found a way to work with an overwhelmingly Republican General Assembly where he could and did battle when he needed to,” said one-time aide Mo Elleithee, the director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Policy at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

McAuliffe’s approval ratiing in Virginia has been in positive territory for the duration of his term, and he’ll leave office with no major scandals, but also no major legislative accomplishments. McAuliffe has been somewhat of a placeholder during his tenure as Governor, picking and choosing battles with the Republican-led general assembly.

However, McAuliffe achieved what he needed to achieve, which was to help Hillary Clinton win the state of Virginia in 2016, and help Democrats retain the Governor’s mansion in 2017. With those electoral successes, McAuliffe is fairly well-positioned to make a case that he should contend for the Democratic nomination in 2020. After all, he is one of a handful of Democrats who can now claim they’ve essentially beaten Donald Trump twice.

It’s also worth noting how strongly McAuliffe worked to downplay the allegations of a rigged primary coming from Donna Brazile in the days leading up the Virginia election last week. Here’s a flashback of the “nobody cares” clip with an NBC News reporter during an interview on MSNBC last week:

McAuliffe’s name was already on our page of Democrats possibly seeking the 2020 nomination, but maybe his name should move up the list.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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