Virginia state Senator Amanda Chase is the leading edge of the GOP’s worst nightmare: Trumpian extremists who are unelectable winning their party’s nomination. She is so anti-mask that she’d rather sit inside a plexiglass cube specially constructed for her when the Senate is in session. She attended the 1/6 rally and calls the rioters “patriots.” She believes the election was stolen and that President Trump should have invoked martial law. She calls herself “Trump in heels.”
If you’re a Trump supporter, what is there not to like? It’s the annoying reality that she can’t win an election outside of her gerrymandered district. “Nobody wants Chase as the gubernatorial nominee,” says Larry Sabato, longtime Virginia political forecaster. “Even the Trumpiest Republicans who led the (Virginia state) delegation, even they admit she’s a massive general election loser.”
And yet, Chase is leading the GOP field in the November Virginia governor’s race, the first major statewide election after the presidential election and therefore a leading indicator as to how effective former President Trump and his movement will be in controlling primary nominating contests. In an obvious bid to disadvantage Chase, state party officials have held firm in their decision to hold a nominating convention to choose their candidate, as opposed to a primary, which could favor Chase by bringing out the Trumpian grassroots.