Republican Yongkin wins Virginia elections

Republican candidate Glenn Yongkin won the position of governor of the US state of Virginia on Wednesday, US television stations reported, in a vote seen as a test for Democrats and President Joe Biden.

Youngkin led by 2.7 points over his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, in a fierce electoral struggle, after more than 95 percent of the votes were counted, prompting American media networks such as “NBC” and “ABC” to announce the victory of the Republican candidate.

Republican Yongkin, 54, who is loyal to former President Donald Trump, ended McAuliffe’s efforts, 64, to regain his previous position, which he held from 2014 to 2018, a candidate who had the support of President Biden.

The voters of this state, adjacent to the capital, Washington, were called to elect a new governor in a merit that constituted a preliminary test for the midterm elections.

Counts of three-quarters of the votes had earlier shown Yongkin, a businessman with no political experience, an eight-point lead over McAuliffe, who had received support from hawks in his party during the campaign.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin takes the stage to react to election results during an election night…
Republican Yongkin wins Virginia governor

Before the polls closed, Biden said of Glasgow, where he is attending the COP26 climate conference, that “we will win” this election even if the results are “close”, calling on Democrats to vote.

And turnout was high, with nearly 1.2 million pre-voted voters, six times more than it was in 2017 when Democrat Ralph Northham was elected, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. 

When the first results were announced, Yongkin told his supporters that it “wasn’t for a long time an election campaign anymore, it’s turning into a movement that you all lead.” A few days before the election, the US president appeared in Arlington alongside McAuliffe.

“You had the courage and wisdom to reject the extremism that now dominates the Republican Party across America,” Biden told the crowd in Arlington, a city in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

“The Republican Party today stands for nothing but continuing to cut taxes for the richest and most powerful corporations,” he added.

Before Biden, Barack Obama, US First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned for McAuliffe, who polled closely with Yongkin

The contest for the governorship of Virginia is also seen as reflecting general national trends before and after the 2022 congressional elections, according to CNN.

McAuliffe relied heavily on the state’s left-wing tilt during his campaign in hopes of energizing the voters who helped Biden win the state, which veered toward the Democrats, by 10 percentage points in 2020.

During a rally attended by former President Barack Obama, McAuliffe accused his opponent, Youngkin, of being “not a sane Republican” and said, “For me, it’s Donald Trump in brown pants. Do we want a Donald Trump puppet as governor? No, we don’t.”

CNN said Yongkin’s strong performance in the race “sends a clear message that with Trump out of office, the dynamics have changed, and Democrats cannot count on their gains under Trump.”

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