Republican victory in Virginia «shows the effectiveness of culture wars» in American politics

Republican Glenn Yongkin has been elected to the great annoyance of Democrats As the next governor of Virginia.

Newcomer Youngkin was 2.7 points ahead of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a neck-and-neck fight just after midnight, with more than 95% of the vote counted, prompting NBC, CNN and ABC to call the GOP elections.

The race was initially expected to be a comfortable win for Democrats, as Biden won by 10 points in Virginia in just last year’s presidential election. Instead, it became a neglect in the final days of the campaign.

Millions of private equity holders who have never run for office from the defeat of a former Democratic governor will be seen as a disaster for Biden, who is running in the all-important 2022 races that will determine who controls Congress.

Describing his victory as a “decisive moment,” Yongkin told the crowd, “Together, we will change the course of this commonwealth. Friends, we will begin this transformation on day one.”

So what happened to the Democrats and how did the Republican win?

The 64-year-old swayed his image as the establishment candidate, selling himself as a former incumbent who brought jobs back after the 2008 global financial crisis, and vowed to repeat the trick to tackle the pandemic.

Larry Donnelly – Boston attorney, legal lecturer at NUI Galway and political columnist with the magazine – The general implication, he said, was that McAuliffe, who was a well-known, popular figure with plenty of available resources, would cross the line in this election.

But what went wrong?

«I think he ran a bad public campaign,» Donnelly said. the magazine.

«I also think there’s something to the idea that he might not have been the person right now. There were other candidates in the Democratic primary who might have been more aligned or might have helped increase the turnout of African Americans, the turnout of people of color, which could be Saying he wasn’t kind of rich on the inside.»

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President Joe Biden and Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe at a rally in Arlington, Virginia last month

Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Early in the campaign, Yongkin accepted Trump’s endorsement and shied away from criticizing the twice impeached former president.

But he’s also conspicuously avoided siding with the Republican leader, who is seen as past the pale among independents in much of Virginia, or presenting himself as Trump’s aide.

Yongkin had to do high-profile work, however, as the vast majority of Republicans believe Trump’s false claims that the presidency was stolen in a rigged election, making admitting the truth politically risky.

Instead, he shifted the conversation to local «culture war» issues such as abortion, mask mandates, and education, galvanizing parents who believe they should have a greater say in their children’s education and schools.

CBS News Reports That pivotal moment came during the last debate when McAuliffe said he «didn’t think parents should tell schools what they should teach». Republicans ran that line.

Youngkin also pledged to ban critical race theory in Virginia schools. However, it is not taught in state schools.

«[McAuliffe] She almost handed over to the Republicans this education issue.

«I think the issue of education and what was happening in public schools, certainly resonated with a lot of voters, including a lot of voters who would have voted for Biden last time,» he said.

«If anything, I think this election shows the efficacy of the culture wars, that it’s really in the Republican favour, and that Democrats better be prepared in the midterm elections because they know what’s coming.»

Chief of the Guardian office in Washington, DC Today’s Books: «McAuliffe’s central argument—that Yongkin is a Trump aide—was about the past. Yongkin’s central argument—that schools are under attack by culture warriors over race and gender—was about the future, even if it is riddled with lies.

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«For many voters, the future tends to be more compelling.»

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Chantilly-US-03-November-2021-Virginia-Republican-Governor-Candidate-Glenn-Youngkin-Enters-the-stage- To Thank His Supporters Before-delivering-Win-Speech-in-The Westfields Marriott

Virginia’s Republican governor candidate, Glenn Youngkin, entered the stage to thank his supporters before giving a victory speech at the Westfields Marriott Hotel in Chantilly, Virginia.

Source: Alamy Stock Photo

What then?

McAuliffe’s loss will almost certainly scare moderates on Capitol Hill and push some away from supporting Biden’s faltering $3 trillion vision of reshaping the economy.

Long delays in passing promised welfare and infrastructure packages are an echo of 2009-2010, when Democrats suffered heavy losses amid the deadlock in Washington.

«It should read as a setback for Biden,» Donnelly said.

«You mentioned the cultural issues, but there was still some resentment in the United States about the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the way it was carried out, the blow to the narrative that he was the firm hand, that he wouldn’t make mistakes like Trump said.

It’s time for the party to come together, said Jay Cecil, president of the Democratic group Priorities USA. CNN.

This election is a warning to all Democrats. While the D.C. Democrats spent weeks fighting each other, Republicans focused on mobilizing their base and alienating voters from Biden’s coalition using deceptive and divisive tactics,» Cecil said.

«It’s time to focus on the next step. Congressional Democrats must pass infrastructure immediately and rebuild better bills. We must start tomorrow to unite and mobilize those who came out to vote Democrats in 2020. And we must draw a sharp contrast between Democratic progress and Republican extremism.» .

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Yongkin’s campaign will now likely become a blueprint for Republicans across the country as they strategize how to capitalize on Trump’s base while avoiding tainting him with his toxic brand among midterm moderates.

With reporting by © – Agence France-Presse, 2021

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