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Political expert weighs in on Youngkin’s win in governor’s race

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 11:32 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia is set to have its first Republican governor since 2010. After a tight election Tuesday night, the Associated Press called the race for GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin.

“Alrighty Virginia, we won this thing!” Youngkin said at his victory party.

In the last 12 elections for Virginia governor, the sitting president’s party has lost the seat all but once. This year’s election followed this trend.

“This is representing a major change for Virginia,” University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato said. “It isn’t just that a Republican won the governorship, It’s the kind of Republican. He is quite conservative.”

Sabato believes Youngkin’s win is due in part to President Joe Biden’s approval rating.

“The other factors that helped Youngkin were obviously President Biden’s popularity. The fact that Democrats couldn’t get the job done on their two big bills in Washington, at least couldn’t get it done prior to November 2, which was the only date that mattered for the Virginia governor’s race,” Sabato said.

Another factor according to Sabato, is Youngkin’s personal wealth: “McAuliffe has always spent more than his opponents, but not this time, tells you that when two sides can spend about the same amount of money you can have an upset, and this is an upset considering in the beginning of the year, and really through the summer, McAuliffe was viewed as a substantial favorite, but favorite sometimes lose. That’s what happened here,” the director said.

McAuliffe released a statement early Wednesday, November 3, conceding to Youngkin: “Congratulations to Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory. I hope Virginians will join me in wishing the best to him and his family.”

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