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Youngkin Set To Lead Virginia Republicans Against Democrats In November
With 54% of the convention vote, Youngkin shifts the Republican landscape.
Former Carlyle CEO Glenn Youngkin outpaced both expectations and fellow contenders to a firm and final victory for the Republican gubernatorial nod, defeating Disruptor CEO Pete Snyder in the final ballot in a nail biter with 54% of the vote.
Just in case folks don’t realize how much the Virginia Republican landscape shifted yesterday, there are a couple of points that need to be offered:
Youngkin recaptured the suburbs we lost in 2017. Not by a little bit, either. Whether it is the post-Trump shift away from the Democrats or the reactivation of the Republican base, something shifted in a big way back towards suburban Virginia. That’s huge, guys…
We have a new class of political professional in Virginia. In the words of one political stalwart, the Class of 1993 (George Allen) is gone; the Class of 2009 (McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli) is ineffective. Hats off to Garrison Coward and Team Youngkin for moving the sticks.
Youngkin did well everywhere. There is always the concern in Virginia that a NOVA candidate might not do well in ROVA (rest of Virginia); that an WEVA (Western Virginia) candidate might not do well in EEVA (Eastern Virginia). Youngkin did well in Fairfax, Virginia Beach, the Valley, Southside, Southwest… in short, Youngkin will not have to do his homework among the grassroots in order to carry the general.
Late endorsements matter. The endorsement of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) got people’s attention in a big way. Numbers shifted quickly. For all the media fawning over Chase’s numbers, she did about as expected (low-20s). Snyder’s numbers continued to climb with name ID. But between Youngkin’s ground game and the Cruz endorsement? Folks found a reason to trust the man.
Soft delegates? They weren’t — and this was one that a lot of us missed. Traditionally in a convention format? Paying for delegates doesn’t work. Youngkin made it work.
Folks were tired of the old Republican Party wanted a new one and found it in Glenn Youngkin.
That mood was precisely the energy that Youngkin tapped for victory — and not just only from the suburban perspective. Young Republicans turned out, suburban Republicans turned out, disaffected Republicans came back home, college educated Republicans came back home.
This was a romp.
Nor was this victory merely bought through sheer force of cash. Youngkin’s swag was pretty superior, I’ll grant. But that’s not what persuaded folks to vote for the man. Two things did this: (1) Cruz’s endorsement — and one really cannot overstate the mood shift — reinforced the confidence of Virginia Republicans in Youngkin, and (2) the fact that Youngkin is just such a decent guy in person.
That mattered and Virginians picked up on it — a stellar performance no matter how you cut it.
What’s more, Youngkin ran as a conservative the entire way.
Nothing was conceded in an effort to reposition the Republican Party for victory. For those who remember the Three Virginias theory, Youngkin plays to that suburban core:
For lack of alternatives, the suburbs are choosing economy over values, precisely because the media has caged anything conservative as racism, bigotry, hate and so forth. See the play clearly now?
Republicans require a moral conservatism rooted in the values of a free society. That means a revalidation of the basic human right to exist, a sharp defense of an unfettered 1A and 2A, defending actual science in the public square, fully funding our law enforcement personnel, and defending the rich and liberating history of the Republican Party — because it is our party that fought to end slavery, our party that fought segregation, our party that fought Jim Crow, our party that ended welfare, our party that defeated Soviet Communism, our party that fights against abortion, and our party that fights for school choice and a free and unfettered public square.
The Democrats don’t have any of this and they know it.
Given that 86% of Republican conventioneers cited that defeating the Democrats was far more important than ideological purity contests? Youngkin inherits a united party out of the gate and a real opportunity to forge a new Republican consensus in Virginia — no small feat.
Virginia Republicans also earned a few leaders in the contest as well.
Kirk Cox — who will not be running again for House of Delegates — will perhaps have his last hurrah serving in a Youngkin administration as a cabinet secretary. Cox is a legislator first and foremost, but a principled one. That’s a rare and welcome template for future leadership.
Pete Snyder remains a rally point for conservatives in Virginia always pointing to the future — truly a man who does professionally what he would do in government. Snyder is absolutely right on education reform. Rarely do you meet people who encourage others to find their best and motivate them to go do it, and we could use a lot more of that in America today.
My own personal favorite? Sergio de la Pena was phenomenal even if the numbers never quite showed it. For one, I hope we see his name on the ballot again (and soon).
And how could anyone not like Octavia Johnson?! Virginia Republicans are awfully blessed to have such leaders willing to pick up the baton and fight for our values in the public square.
I’ll say this much about Amanda Chase. She and I share many of the same personal convictions. We are both 100% pro-life (holding the “Catholic position” as it were), firm defenders of the 2A, strong on immigration (Australian limits; Israeli expulsions), and focused on limited and localized government. Yet the fissures remain: Republicans such as Tony Pham — a former Trump administration official — are in the process of setting up exploratory committees for SEN-11 in 2023.
Let’s hope she finds a role within and among Republicans (and soon). Staying on the outside of the Senate Republican Caucus and refusing to make peace with the Chesterfield GOP only helps the Democrats. As one reader helpfully points out, we could all stand to find our inner Edmund Burke and move forward together.
One Last Word on Conventions
Virginia will no longer be able to vote via convention by 2024 thanks to an act of the Virginia General Assembly. Critics have been all over the method, but let’s review:
Oliver North won a convention.
Bob McDonnell won in a convention.
Bill Bolling won in a convention.
Ken Cuccinelli won in a convention.
Ed Gillespie won in a convention.
Glenn Youngkin won in a convention.
Not to mention that the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were both produced in convention.
Tell me again why conventions do not produce excellent leaders?
Youngkin- ? ? ? -Miyares: What Happens Today
As we mentioned in the TRS Poll analysis, keep your eyes on Winsome Sears today. Tim Hugo and Glenn Davis are tied with her for the lieutenant governor nod, but there are three factors at play:
Does the Smith lift help Sears? Black conservatives are making their presence felt in a big way. Given Chuck Smith’s rise in the polls, does Sears have a better shot than anticipated?
Does the Stewart nod help Hugo? Late endorsements matter. Whether the Stewart endorsement helped (or hurt) Youngkin remains to be seen, but whether it helps or hurts Hugo — who ran on it and put it in campaign literature — will be the tale of the tape.
Does the Youngkin lift help Davis? They share the same consultants.
Puneet Ahluwalia is a personal friend, and the votes are in so I don’t mind talking him up just a touch. If you haven’t seen his videos taking on Critical Race Theory, take a moment and do so. He does in one minute what it would take us 10 minutes to do.
Either way, Republicans are looking at a superior ticket moving into November a divided and racially torn civil war on the Democratic left.
How bad is it for the Dems? Ask Talking Points Memo:
Biden is a 78-year-old relic who in his person and in his emphasis on economics reflects an older labor-oriented Democratic party that is being replaced by a party preoccupied with culture and identity. Many of the young Democrats elevate racial issues above those of class — framing what could be universal appeals to national betterment in racial terms; they want to increase immigration and grant citizenship to unauthorized immigrants, but appear indifferent to securing America’s borders; they justifiably champion the rights of transgender women — biological men who identify as women — to be free from discrimination in employment or housing, but dismiss concerns that a blanket identification of sex with declared gender could threaten rights specific to biological women; and as homicides rise, and as justifiable protests against police brutality turned into mayhem and looting, they have advocated defunding rather than reforming the police. Democrats’ identification with these kind of views played a role in Democratic losses in Congressional races in 2020.
In short, let’s just say that the Democrats are slightly confused (and in more ways than one).
Either way, congratulations to Glenn Youngkin and the entire campaign on a well-fought victory.
Onto the Democrats!
Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.