Republicans ousted Virginia’s Democrats and produced an unexpectedly strong performance in New Jersey, where the Democrats are in a strong position, threatening a crisis for President Joe Biden’s party ahead of next year’s congressional elections
Republican Glenn Youngkin, a former private equity executive, defeated former governor Terry McAuliffe in Tuesday’s election, with the Democrat conceding his defeat on Wednesday morning.
Yongkin had done enough to distance himself from former President Donald Trump to win over the moderates who supported Biden just a year ago.
In New Jersey, outgoing Democrat Phil Murphy narrowly edged Republican Jack Ciatarelli, even though there are more than a million registered Democratic voters outnumbered by Republicans.
Both won in the suburbs large numbers of independent voters who Trump’s style kept them away from the Republican Party. Results in states that Biden won handily in 2020 suggest that Democrats’ very slim majorities in Congress are at great risk in the 2022 election.
Republican control of the House and Senate, or even one of them, would give the party the ability to block Biden’s legislative agenda during the last two years of his current term.
The loss also gives Trump an opportunity to view Virginia as an indication of Biden’s rejection, while paving the way for the possibility of running for the presidency again in 2024.
Despite the defeat, top Congressional Democrats vowed to press ahead with Biden’s legislative agenda, and hope to pass two $2.75 trillion bills to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges, as well as bolster the social safety net and fight climate change