VALCV-PAC issues recap of 2021 Electoral Efforts

For Immediate Release:
Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

Media contact:
Lee Francis | Deputy Director
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
(434) 989-3197 |

In 2017, and again in 2019, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Political Action Committee invested heavily in reaching voters with a pro-environment message and securing Virginia’s first Conservation Majority. The past two years ushered in unprecedented progress for clean air and water, climate action and a clean and healthy environment, and 2021 saw us in the very new position of working to defend our friendly majority in the House, while re-electing champions to statewide office.

VALCV-PAC was again a key player this cycle, spending $2.4 million to elect Terry McAuliffe as Governor, Hala Ayala as Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Herring as Attorney General, and to maintain a pro-climate action majority in the 55-45 Democrat-controlled House of Delegates. Additionally, fundraising efforts through GiveGreen raised more than $222,000 to support environmental champions running for statewide and legislative offices.

As the first competitive Governor’s race since the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020 – and the first in a post-Trump electorate – the closely watched Virginia Gubernatorial Race ended up being the most expensive race in Virginia’s history, with both candidates tied heading to Election Day and a number of battleground House races that are still incredibly close.

We still have a final sprint before polls close on Tuesday night, but one thing is clear: Virginia’s environmental community has stepped up in a huge way to ensure that our elected leaders hear the priorities of people across the Commonwealth who want to preserve our natural resources for decades to come. See below for an overview of Virginia LCV PAC’s 2021 efforts.

$2.4 million Invested in Gubernatorial, House Races
VALCV-PAC invested $2.4 million to help elect McAuliffe and to protect Virginia’s first- ever Conservation Majority. These investments funded many strategic efforts including partnerships with organizations doing strong field work including New Virginia Majority and BlackPAC; VALCV-PAC’s own robust, multi-district mail and digital communications program in several battleground House of Delegate races; and a joint paid media effort with the McAuliffe campaign and the Democratic Governors Association, including a TV ad buy in the DC/NOVA, Richmond and Hampton Roads media markets, and a statewide digital buy.

Programmatic investments in the 2021 race from VALCV-PAC this cycle include:

  • Mail: $188,000 to run targeted mail programs in three House districts: HD-10 (Gooditis), HD-28 (Cole), and HD-83 (Guy).
  • Digital: $320,000 to run digital programs in ten battleground House Districts: HD-10 (Gooditis), HD-21 (Convirs-Fowler), HD-27 (Gardner), HD-28 (Cole), HD-63 (Aird), HD-73 (Willett), HD-75 (Tyler), HD-83 (Guy), HD-85 (Askew) and Helmer (HD-40).
  • Partnerships: $800,000 to support field canvass and communications programs being run by our partners at BlackPAC and New Virginia Majority.
  • GreenRoots: $100,000 GreenRoots program with 6 organizers on the ground supporting the coordinated field programs to  work in five target House districts: HD-27 (Gardner), HD-73 (Willett), HD-83 (Guy), HD-85 (Askew) and HD-91 (Mugler).
  • Field: $190,000 to add field and get-out-the-vote capacity for the coordinated campaign in the final weeks of the election.
  • Direct Contributions: Over $700,000 in direct contributions to the McAuliffe campaign and House candidates.

Environmental Messaging Rose to the Top
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters-PAC, the Democratic Governors Association, and the McAuliffe campaign announced joint efforts to reach Virginia voters with targeted television and digital ads regarding climate in the final week of the 2021 race. The digital ads, running on Facebook, Google, Hulu, Roku, MiQ and Youtube, were set to deliver through Election Day, as were television ads in the Washington D.C., Richmond, and Hampton Roads media markets.

These include:

  • For,” highlighting McAuliffe’s science-grounded plans to address climate change and create clean energy jobs.
  • Sounds Like,” showcasing Glenn Youngkin’s total embrace of Donald Trump’s divisive agenda including pushing conspiracy theories about climate.

VALCV-PAC’s six-flight mail programs reached an estimated 13,000-14,000 voters per district across the important battlegrounds of HD-10 (Gooditis), HD-28 (Cole), and HD-83 (Guy). Our mail program went to both persuasion and mobilization universes. Messaging varied from district to district but hit on several consistent themes known to resonate with our target audience and which show the clear separation between the candidates in these races on the environment.

  • Corporate Polluters: Our mail emphasized our incumbents’ records holding corporate polluters accountable, and, when appropriate, highlighted their opponents’ funding from or ties to corporate polluters.
  • Trusting Science: With COVID top-of-mind for all Virginians, our program drew parallels between candidates’ anti-mask, anti-vaccine stances and their unwillingness to follow the science as it pertains to climate action and environmental protection.
  • Trump: Trump remains immensely unpopular in Virginia, and was a big motivating factor for voters in 2017 and 2019. In a post-Trump electorate, our mail pieces incorporated Trump in an effort to remind voters of Trump’s extreme, anti-science, anti-climate agenda and the striking similarities to our opponents in these races.
  • Delivering: In each of these races, we emphasized our endorsed candidates’ strong records taking climate action, creating clean energy jobs, protecting their constituents’ health, and safeguarding clean air and water.

VALCV-PAC’s 10-district digital program targeted voters in HD-10 (Gooditis), HD-21 (Convirs-Fowler), HD-27 (Gardner), HD-28 (Cole), HD-63 (Aird), HD-73 (Willett), HD-75 (Tyler), HD-83 (Guy), HD-85 (Askew) and Helmer (HD-40). Our ads were all video formats, hosted across a number of digital platforms to include Facebook, Instagram, and video pre-roll. As with our mail program, our messaging varied from district to district but touched on the above frames.







Avg. Completion Rate



Press Coverage:
Richmond Times-Dispatch (9/16/21)
Millions pour into Virginia race for governor; Youngkin’s wealth helps him outraise McAuliffe in latest period

Augusta Free Press (9/16/21)
Poll shows climate, clean energy are mobilizing issues in 2021 governor’s race

AP (9/24/21)
Pressure rising for Democrats in Virginia governor’s race

Augusta Free Press (10/7/21)
Virginia LCV PAC announces 2021 campaign ramp-up

Patch (10/7/21)
Candidate profile: Elizabeth Bennett-Parker

Roanoke Times (10/10/21)
Gubernatorial candidates comment, or choose not to, on Mountain Valley Pipeline

E&E News (10/12/21)
Dems look to capitalize on Va. Republican’s climate comments (paywalled)

Loudoun Now (10/18/21)
Letter: Bill Replogle, Leesburg

The Hill (10/26/21)
McAuliffe, Democratic groups launch climate ad blitz in Virginia a week out from election

E&E News (10/26/21)
McAuliffe, allies deploy climate ads as Va. race nears end (paywalled)

Free Lance-Star (10/27/21)
LTE: Del. Cole is an environmental champion

Virginia Scope (10/28/21)
McAuliffe & Democratic groups launch a joint media effort mostly focusing on climate change in Virginia

Connection Newspapers (10/28/21)
Virginia at a Crossroads: Voters to determine direction of state government.

Voter Mobilization Efforts
In addition to running a robust, strategic paid communications program, VALCV-PAC’s electoral efforts also focused on speaking directly to voters, mobilizing volunteers to help get out the vote across important battleground districts, and helping our statewide candidates reach and mobilize voters in the final push toward election day.

Through our GreenRoots program, VALCV-PAC embedded six organizers into five important House campaigns across Metro-Richmond and Hampton Roads: HD-27 (Gardner), HD-73 (Willett), HD-83 (Guy), HD-85 (Askew) and HD-91 (Mugler).

Voter Contact Shifts Recruited


One-on-One Meetings w/ Volunteers


Recruitment Calls Made


Contacts Over the Phone


VoteForward Letters


Additional Field Efforts
VALCV-PAC also invested $190,000 in coordinated field efforts. These funds went towards 12 field staff in Richmond and Hampton Roads and 12 full time callers for the final weeks of the campaign with the capacity to make just over 100,000 dials. Additionally, VALCV-PAC has 108 organizers around the country spending 16 hours over two days calling voters during GOTV, totaling just over another 100,000 dials.