Sunday, November 28

US state of Virginia: Republican wins gubernatorial election

Status: 03.11.2021 8:11 a.m.

The Republican Youngkin becomes the new governor of Virginia – the US state is no longer in democratic hands. For President Biden, the result is a debacle: The election also counts as a vote on his policy.

In the gubernatorial election in the US state of Virginia, the Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin is predicted to win. He beat the Democrat Terry McAuliffe by just 2.7 percentage points, as emerged on the night from consistent predictions of various broadcasters.

“We won the thing,” said Youngkin in a speech to his supporters. He described his victory as a “defining moment” for Virginia. The state will take a new course under his leadership. “And we will start this shift on the first day.” For the past eight years, the Democrats had provided the governor in Virginia.

Close election result

The 54-year-old Youngkin was supported in the election campaign by ex-President Donald Trump – even if he publicly distanced himself from him and focused on moderate voters. The Republican is a successful businessman. He presented himself as an exemplary suburban father and relied on criticism of the mask requirement and the teaching on the subject of racism in schools – two topics with which the conservative base can be mobilized.

Even before the election, a head-to-head race had emerged: In the summer, Democrat McAuliffe was still ahead, but in recent weeks his lead in surveys has shrunk more and more. The 64-year-old was governor from 2014 to 2018.

Democrats campaigned against Trump

Before the elections, the Democrats feared that many of their supporters would not vote because Trump is no longer in office as a specter of horror. US President Joe Biden accordingly tried in the election campaign to use Trump’s support for Youngkins against the Republican candidate. “Terry is competing against a supporter of Donald Trump,” said Biden at a campaign rally in Arlington. McAuliffe also tried to bring his political opponent closer to Trump and called him, for example, “Trump in khaki pants”.

Shortly before the polling stations closed, Biden was confident of victory. “We will win. I think we will win in Virginia,” he said at the climate summit in Glasgow.

Mood test before the congressional elections

The gubernatorial election one year before the congressional elections is considered an important test of sentiment – the whole country is looking to the state on the east coast. For the Republicans, the goal was to score points with moderate swing voters in rural areas. In addition, it was necessary to set an example against President Biden and his Democrats – it succeeded.

It was not only bad for the Democrats in Virginia: they were also facing a narrow defeat in the gubernatorial election in the US state of New Jersey, which was taking place at the same time – a final result was not yet certain, however. Only in New York did the Democrat Eric Adams win the mayoral election.

The gossamer majority of Democrats is at stake in next year’s congressional elections. Trump’s Republicans then want to regain control in the Senate and the House of Representatives. According to observers, the vote in Virginia is a testament to Biden’s policies, who have ruled the White House for almost a year. In the 2020 presidential election, Biden easily won in Virginia and New Jersey. His approval ratings are currently worse than ever since he took office.

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