To the Independent Voters in Virginia who voted for President Biden in 2020 but decided to vote for Glenn Youngkin (R. VA) for Governor because he wasn’t a die hard MAGA supporter who refused to campaign with Trump but was still pushing the Election Integrity bull shit and relying up the racist MAGA crowd about Critical Race Theory? Yeah, I’m talking to you:
Republican and Democratic voters overwhelmingly supported their parties' candidates in the gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, according to the results of CNN's Virginia exit poll, with independents breaking in favor of Youngkin, who CNN projected would clinch the win.
A similar partisan pattern held down ballot in key Virginia races, with CNN projecting Republican Winsome Sears as the next lieutenant governor
of the state.
Youngkin also carried male voters in this year's election by a roughly 12-point margin, White women without college degrees by almost 50 points and White evangelicals by about 78 points -- all broader margins than then-President Donald Trump
posted over Joe Biden
among those demographics in the 2020 election and than Republican Ed Gillespie posted over his gubernatorial rival in 2017. The exit polling also suggests a slim advantage for Youngkin in the suburbs, an area that shifted toward Democrats during Trump's presidency.
Yes, you, Independent Voters:
Across Virginia's populous suburbs, especially in northern Virginia and the Richmond metropolitan area, and in defense-rich Hampton Roads, elections have largely been lost or won by the hundreds of thousands of voters who don't hold a firm allegiance to either party.
In this year's gubernatorial election, many of these independents, who fueled Democratic gains in recent cycles, are up for grabs, with many already showing a reception to Youngkin's messaging around economic issues.
"What we see from the data so far is that those who have been undecided or have classified themselves as Independent are leaning towards Youngkin," Faulkner told Insider. "Given the nature of Virginia politics, that is what most of us would have expected."
In the latest Washington Post-Schar School poll, McAuliffe led Youngkin by a slim 49%-48% margin among likely voters — the survey had a margin of error of 4%. But the Republican enjoyed an 18-point lead with independents.
While many observers may be surprised with Youngkin's polling strength with independents, given the solid base of conservative support in the state, along with its not-too-distant history of electing Republicans across state government, Virginia's competitive nature in gubernatorial elections never went away.
"It's definitely inaccurate to classify Virginia as solidly blue," Faulkner said. "I think what many people were basing that on is the way that Virginia has voted in presidential elections over the past few years, but our state politics have been different. There is an ebb and flow, a back and forth, that goes on."
Youngkin’s campaign could serve as a model for how Republicans running in Democratic-leaning areas can navigate the politics of Trump. Youngkin somehow succeeded by splitting the difference on the most polarizing political figure of the era: He neither repudiated nor fully embraced the former president. In ads, the private-equity CEO “flipped eggs, shot basketball, [and] looked goofy,” says Mark Bergman, a Democratic strategist who advised outgoing Governor Ralph Northam’s campaign. “That is the pathway for Republicans.” McAuliffe’s attempt to center his final appeal on the specter of Trump failed to match a similar effect in deep-blue California, where Governor Gavin Newsom defeated a recall effort in September after nationalizing the race. Youngkin proved to be a far more difficult foil, however, than did the conservative radio host Larry Elder or the other contenders in California.
Worse news for Democrats is that the coalition of voters that helped Biden win in 2020 may be falling apart. Democrats made enormous progress in America’s suburbs in the past five years, peeling off white, college-educated men and women from the Republican Party. But tonight’s results suggest that this progress was only temporary—maybe Democrats merely rented the suburbs from the GOP, instead of buying them outright.
Democrats “should own the suburbs,” Suhas Subramanyam, a member of the House of Delegates who attended the watch party, told us. “I don’t know why they don’t … Republicans did not run a moderate campaign.” Subramanyam was elected to the Virginia House in 2019. “I’ve grown up politically in a world where Democrats are shoo-ins because of Donald Trump,” he said. But with McAuliffe’s loss, that’s no longer the case. So many swing voters in the suburbs “have dipped their toe in” the Democratic Party, Subramanyam said. “But they’re not ready to jump in.”
Well, do you also remember this?
Glenn Youngkin, the venture capitalist running as a Republican in Virginia's gubernatorial race against former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, made the comments to Lauren Windsor, who runs The Undercurrent, a self-described "grassroots political web-show" funded by the liberal advocacy group American Family Voices.
The American Independent obtained the video footage from Windsor, who also shared it with MSNBC.
In the video, Windsor begins speaking with Youngkin about her feigned support for things like "getting a fetal heartbeat bill here like they did in Texas, or defunding Planned Parenthood."
A man who identifies himself only as "Pete" also appears in the video, though his full identity is not immediately clear.
Youngkin responds by telling Windsor that she's "on the right path," adding that he initially wants to work on abortion issues he says a "majority of Virginians" support, including to "stop using taxpayer money for abortions" and banning "abortions all the way up until the last week before birth." (Taxpayer money is not used to fund abortions.)
When Windsor pushes him more, Youngkin says that he's unable to speak much on the issue for fear of losing the independent voters he says he needs to win Virginia's gubernatorial contest in November.
"I'm gonna be really honest with you, the short answer is, in this campaign, I can't," Youngkin says after "Pete" asks him whether he plans to "take it to the abortionists."
"When I'm governor, and I have a majority in the House, we can start going on offense," he continues. "But as a campaign topic, sadly, that in fact won’t win my independent votes that I have to get. So you'll never hear me support Planned Parenthood, what you'll hear me talk about is actually taking back the radical abortion policies that Virginians don't want."
Well guess what? The cat is out of the bag:
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said he will seek to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, moving quickly following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday overturning the constitutional right to an abortion.
Youngkin has asked four Virginia lawmakers — all antiabortion Republicans — to craft legislation, and he said that setting the cutoff at 20 weeks might be necessary to attract more consensus in a divided Capitol. He said he supports exceptions for rape, incest and cases where the life of the mother is at risk.
“Virginians do want fewer abortions as opposed to more abortions,” Youngkin said Friday morning during a meeting with reporters, editors and editorial writers at The Washington Post, moments after the court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade was announced. “I am not someone who is going to jump in and try to push us apart … There is a place we can come together.”
Youngkin said he would like to see abortion outlawed at the point at which a fetus feels pain. He acknowledged that there is a consensus in Congress and elsewhere that the pain threshold exists at 20 weeks of pregnancy, but said he would prefer to aim for a 15-week law.
Though he emphasized his personal opposition to abortion, Youngkin said he recognized that there is a spectrum of beliefs in Virginia and acknowledged that 20 weeks could wind up being a point of compromise. “I also represent all Virginians,” he said. But, he added, “I believe the place we should be able to get to is a 15-week pain threshold.”
That would be similar to recent laws passed in Florida and Mississippi.
Abortion is lawful in Virginia during the first and second trimesters of a pregnancy, a timetable that has been in place through years of Republican and Democratic control in the General Assembly.
To those Independent Voters in Virginia and across the country, to quote The Who, “Don’t get fooled again.”
One thing you can do is to re-elect pro-choice Democratic incumbents this year and get ready for the 2023 Virginia House of Delegates Elections. Click below to donate and get involved with these Virginia Democrats campaigns:
Virginia Democratic Party