Democrats suffered massive defeats at the polls Tuesday as voters repudiated CRT and the Biden administration. Nowhere was the earthquake of voter dissent felt more than in Virginia where Republican Glenn Youngkin won his race for governor. While the race for lieutenant governor is too close to call with the Republican leading, the GOP also won the office of Attorney General and took back the General Assembly.
In New Jersey, a race that political scientists had easily given to the incumbent Democrat, results are sending shock waves to the White House. Republican Jack Ciattarelli leads incumbent Democrat Governor Gov. Philip D. Murphy. The race, which has not been called, will be a painful loss for Democrats who have 1 million more voters than Republicans in the state.
But for the last two months, attention had only focused on Virginia. In the Commonwealth Republican Glenn Youngkin topped nationally-known Democrat Terry McAuliffe who served two terms in the past. According to projections by Decision Desk HQ, Youngkin won with 51–48 with 100 percent of districts reporting.
Republican Jason Miyares defeated Democrat Mark Herring in the race for attorney general, according to a projection by Decision Desk HQ. Miyares led 52–47 with 85 percent of the districts reporting at 9:52 p.m. ET.
And Republican Winsome Sears is the projected winner in the Virginia lieutenant governor contest, beating Hala Ayala, according to a projection by Decision Desk HQ. Sears led 53–46 with 86 percent of the districts reporting at 9:55 p.m. ET. Sears becomes the first black to hold the position.
The gubernatorial race in Virginia was the most closely watched of the off-year elections and was viewed by some as a referendum on the first months of the presidency of Joe Biden. The three victories are a major signal for both political parties because Biden carried the state comfortably in 2020 by a 10-point margin.
Youngkin and McAuliffe argued over some of the most divisive issues in the nation on the campaign trail, including abortion, the teaching of critical race theory, and the presidency of Donald Trump.
The election outcome is particularly notable because the electorate cared less about the pandemic than the economy. According to an AP poll, 34 percent of Virginia voters ranked the economy as their top priority, twice as many as the 17 percent who picked COVID-19. The White House has struggled over the past few months with a sluggish economic recovery compounded with an alarming rise in inflation.
The three losses in a state that has trended toward Democrats for more than a decade would deepen the sense of alarm inside the party heading into next year’s midterm elections when control of Congress is at stake.
In 2009, during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, Republican Bob McDonnell’s victory in Virginia previewed a disastrous midterm cycle for Democrats, who lost more than 60 House seats the following year.
Voting proceeded largely without incident across Virginia on Tuesday. McAuliffe and Youngkin were mostly out of sight ahead of election night parties planned in the critical northern Virginia suburbs that each campaign was counting on.
Youngkin was endorsed by Trump and Democrats attempted to use that against him. But polls across the country find views of the president, including his popularity, have surged since the inauguration of Joe Biden. Political experts now say that, 10 months after the Jan. 6 protests in which Democrats without evidence have blamed on the former president, the public now views Trump favorably.
Democrats had brought in the big Democrat top national leaders into Virginia, Hollywood stars and others, including Biden. Democrats, including Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, pleaded with Virginia voters to support the Democrat candidate saying that the election outcome would signal how both 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election would go. As of Wednesday morning, neither Harris or Obama are scheduled to appear in public.
–Metro Voice and wire services.