In Tuesday’s New Jersey and Virginia governor races, Republicans massively outperformed nearly all expectations in results that would have been dismissed as nearly impossible by most observers just a few months ago.
Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin beat former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, after President Biden won there by more than 10 percentage points in 2020.
GOP Candidat Jack Ciattarelli was the leading incumbent Democrat Governor early Wednesday morning. Phil Murphy by about 1,000 votes with 88% reporting. Biden won that state by nearly 16 percentage points.
“No takes from me tonight about why we lost a Biden +10 state a year after the election – I want to wait for more data and be open to explanations that may not confirm my priors,” Democrat activist and “Pod Save America” host Jon Favreau tweeted Tuesday. But, wow. It’s not great. We got some real work to do before ’22 (understatement). “
Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, right, speaks to supporters as lieutenant candidate Winsome Sears, left, listens during a rally in Fredericksburg, Virginia., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
“The red wave is here!” Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee said Tuesday. Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said Tuesday that Virginians and Americans throughout America are tired of Biden’s divisional policies and failed leadership and a Democrat agenda that hurts working families. A Republican wave is coming in 2022, and Virginia is just the start. “
In Virginia, Youngkin appeared to have a chance to make the race competitive for most of 2021 in a favorable political environment – with a Democrat in the White House. McAuliffe maintained a significant advantage up to the last few weeks of the election, when critical race theory, parental involvement in schools, and Loudoun County were merged.
Fox News’ poll flipped from a five-percentage-point advantage for McAuliffe to an eight-percentage-point Youngkin lead in just a couple of weeks. The Republican Youngkin is winning by about two percentage points early Thursday morning with more than 95% of the state’s results in.
President Biden addresses a press conference at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 2, 2021.
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
The New Jersey governor’s race, meanwhile, was never considered to be competitive despite the general consensus that Ciattarelli was a relatively strong candidate for Republicans. Most polls projected that Murphy would win by a smaller margin than Biden did in 2020 but that it would be comfortably outside the margin of error. This was incorrect.
With 88% of the vote in Ciattarelli is winning by . 05 percentage points. The Republican may not win as the mail ballots outstanding could tilt the race to Murphy’s favor. However, the possibility that such a blue state might have such a close election is sure to provoke some Democrat reflection.
Jack Ciattarelli, Republican candidate for governor of New Jersey, speaks during an election night event in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republicans’ strong performances Tuesday were not just in major gubernatorial races. Republicans won the Texas state legislature seat, while the Republicans won the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court race. They still have the chance to win the Virginia House of Delegates. In Virginia, they also won the lieutenant governor, attorney general, and other major gubernatorial races.
The margins nationwide are likely to force Democrats to reconsider their political approach to 2022 – from how much government spending is too much to whether Biden should be the central figure in their pitch to voters. For Republicans, many are taking away that everyday issues, like the cost of goods and the quality of schools, might be their winning 2022 playbook.
“Tonight, Virginia led the nation and took the critical first step in rejecting the Left’s cultural and economic agenda,” Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson said. Youngkin’s win in a state that conservatives had long considered unattainable shows how kitchen-table issues can have lasting impact. Parents see the harm that woke policies are causing their kids and communities and they take action. We saw it firsthand in Virginia. “