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Youngkin’s Win in Virginia Could Have National Implications

Youngkin’s Win in Virginia Could Have National Implications

Republican and onetime private equity executive Glenn Youngkin won Virginia’s gubernatorial race over former Governor Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday, possibly signifying a momentum shift in favor of Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, according to Vox. Youngkin is the first Republican candidate to win statewide in the last 12 years, according to the Associated Press.

Youngkin garnered just over 50 percent of the vote, making sure to neither indulge nor alienate Trump supporters. McAuliffe came away with about 48 percent.

“There’s no doubt now that someone not named Trump can recreate the Trump coalition — and make gains among suburban voters,” Patrick Ruffini, a Republican data analyst in Washington, said. “It means a lot of states are in play.”

The question of how local schools are dealing with the pandemic dominated much of the conversation in Virginia leading up to election day. That along with economic uncertainty and healthy safety issues continue to plague not only Virginia, but states nationwide.

However, experts do not advise predicting 2022 outcomes based solely on Tuesday’s result. Governor’s races can be isolated one-offs, whereas presidential and congressional elections tend to be much more closely tied to partisan trends across the country.

The incumbent president’s party has lost all but one of Virginia’s last 12 gubernatorial elections. Youngkin’s victory is consistent with that pattern, but does not necessarily ensure that Democrats will face defeat in next year’s midterms.

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