Could Democrats really blow the Virginia governor’s race? It almost seems like they’re trying to find out.

Let’s start with an understanding of the stakes in the Old Dominion. If the blue team cannot win in a state Hillary Clinton carried by about six points last year, and where Donald Trump specifically and Republicans in general are about as unpopular as they are in the country as a whole, it would be an epic collapse.

In the series of special House elections Democrats have lost in the past year, each has come with the consoling notion that the Democrat was the underdog and that improved voter intensity on their side was a harbinger of good things to come for the party in 2018.

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