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Virginia election proves voters are fed up with hearing about Trump




WINCHESTER, Virginia In the first post-pandemic election, voters here showed their dissatisfaction with Democrats, handing victories to GOP candidates running for the top two state positions. In his race for governor, businessman Glenn Allen Youngkin became the first Republican to achieve statewide victory in a dozen years, proving Virginia isn’t so blue, after all.

The calculation occurred in a state Joe Biden won in a comfortable landslide less than a year ago, in a place where Republicans have lost their majority in the state chamber in the past four years. last years.

As Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe insisted the election was all about Donald J. Trump and patted his party on the back for its COVID policies, voters by the have woken up. Virginians have voted on what they think are the next issues: the economy, their children’s education, crime and certainly not COVID.

McAuliffe’s strategy of focusing on COVID, Trump, Trump, and Trump was completely out of touch. He and his fellow Democrats missed the most basic thing about human behavior, which is that people always impatiently vote. What matters is their lives, the lives of their children, the lives of their grandchildren and their community, not what happened yesterday.

When the Democrats won the presidency, a slim majority in the House and split power in the Senate last year, they did so by promising to get back to normal. Yet on every issue, whether it’s shutting down pipelines on day one, ignoring the crisis on the southern border, dismissing concerns about inflation, completely failing on withdrawal from Afghanistan. or order the Justice Department to address parents angry with school boards, voters grew bitter about the way they governed.

Even coveted college-educated suburban voters gave Youngkin 45% of their support in Loudoun County, a multicultural and wealthy suburban chain considered one of the most educated counties in America.

Running the election on Trump (and COVID) was the wrong strategy for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. Getty Images

Voters of all parties and beliefs turned out in record numbers on Tuesday, refuting McAuliffes’ claim that turnout and enthusiasm for Democrats is an issue. In fact, McAuliffe received about 200,000 more votes than current Democratic Governor Ralph Northam four years ago.

Youngkin, now governor-elect of Virginia, won with a coalition of working-class whites, evangelicals and the support of 46% of suburban voters, or 6 percentage points compared to Trump’s 2020 numbers. He also won 45% of the university. – Educated voters, according to statistics compiled by Associated Press VoteCast. He and McAuliffe evenly divided the Hispanic vote, a culturally conservative voting bloc that has continued to move further and further to the right as the Democratic Party continues to move towards a progressive socialist platform.

Crime was the problem that first dropped Youngkin from six points to less than one point behind his opponent, after McAuliffe said in May he wanted “everyone to have access to parole.” Over the past few weeks, Youngkin’s support has grown steadily as he discusses the economy and parents’ concerns about raising their children, which has become increasingly dominated by critical race theory. .

What is most remarkable about this election is that Youngkins’ global message resonated throughout what was considered a very blue state, said Bruce Haynes, Republican and chairman of a strategic communications company. public affairs based in Virginia.

Youngkin spoke about the future on issues of crime, inflation and education, all of which clicked with a majority of

Youngkins’ proposal to eliminate the sales tax on groceries has resonated strongly with those who depend on the public school system and who are affected by gas prices and supply chain shortages, ”he said. said Haynes. “And his education message reflected the reality parents saw and heard in their homes during the pandemic. They saw firsthand how their children were taught.

Moreover, despite his fortune estimated at $ 440 million, Youngkin, a father of four, was not a reprehensible candidate. He was a family man wearing a fleece vest who was as unthreatening as Trump was provocative, Haynes said.

Youngkin served a plate of traditional Republican economic ideas sprinkled with a dose of educational populism, and voters, especially the most vulnerable and affected by the pandemic, were hungry for them.

The biggest problem for Democrats is that they never tried to mend their estrangement from blue collar and rural voters and relied only on hatred of Trump to harvest the suburbs. Ultimately, they were going to have to face an election without Trump.

It’s the first. And it won’t be the last.

Salena Zito is the author of “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics”.




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