(UnitedVoice.com) – When Republican Glenn Youngkin won Virginia’s gubernatorial race in November 2021, his victory was hailed as a new beginning for the US right. Youngkin was seen as someone who could win over moderates to the conservative cause. He was considered a possible presidential candidate. Two years later, though, his momentum seems to be slowing.
Youngkin’s Surprise 2021 Win
Right up until the November 2, 2021, gubernatorial election, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe confidently expected to win because right up until election day, that’s what all the polls were showing. However, the polls were wrong. When the last votes were counted Youngkin was ahead by almost 64,000 votes.
For Conservatives, this was a very exciting result. Youngkin had campaigned on an anti-woke platform; key issues he brought up included a preference for small government, opposition mask mandates, and a promise to ban the teaching of controversial Critical Race Theory in Virginia’s schools. He picked up votes from many centrists and moderate Democrats fed up with woke schools and the struggling economy. Understandably, many Conservatives believed Youngkin’s brand of politics — and maybe even Youngkin himself — could bring the GOP victory in the presidential race, too.
Have the Wheels Come Off?
On November 7, Virginians went to the polls to choose their state legislators. The results were a blow to Youngkin and his supporters. The state’s Democrats have rallied, and not only did they manage to hang on to their slim majority in the Virginia Senate, but they managed to take control of the House of Delegates, too.
That’s a major setback to Youngkin’s legislative plans; he’ll struggle to get bills through when both chambers of the legislature oppose him. In particular, Mamie Locke, the chair of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus, vowed that “there will be absolutely no abortion ban legislation sent to Glenn Youngkin’s desk for the duration of his term in office, period.”
So what went wrong?
It seems likely the Democratic gains in Virginia were linked to the historic overturning of Roe v Wade last June. Youngkin campaigned on many policies that turned out to be popular in the center as well as on the Right, but Roe v Wade wasn’t as big an issue then. Now, it is.
Maybe people who liked Youngkin’s ideas about schools and government overreach found his plans to limit abortion to 15 weeks too much to swallow. With 85% of Americans believing abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances, right-to-life laws aren’t popular with most voters. The issue might be important to many Conservatives, but it isn’t a vote winner. Now, Youngkin will have to adjust to that.
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