After midnight (local time) on Tuesday, major television stations across the country declared Republican Glenn Youngkin, an inexperienced political businessman, victorious in Virginia against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who ruled the state in 2014 to 2018.
The elections in Virginia and New Jersey are considered a referendum on the first months of Biden’s term and are also a first indicator for the 2022 parliamentary elections, in which Democrats fear losing a majority in Congress.
At a campaign rally in Chantilly, Youngkin took the stage as the crowd roared, “Glenn, Glenn, Glenn!”
To the beat of the song “Spirit in the Sky,” Glenn Youngkin danced and applauded to celebrate the first Republican victory to rule Virginia since 2009. “This is no longer a campaign, this is a movement,” shouted 54-year-old Youngkin.
Congressional Republicans immediately claimed Youngkin’s victory and said it was a sign of the “red wave” [the color of the Republican Party] with which they want to regain a majority in Congress next year and in the White House in 2024.
In a statement, former US President Donald Trump (2017-2021) proclaimed: “my movement is bigger and stronger than ever.”
However, Youngkin tried to keep some distance from the former president, in a complicated balancing act to mobilize Trump’s supporters, but without scaring off the traditional Republican voters who are concentrated in the suburbs.
To appeal to both groups of voters, Youngkin presented himself as a parent concerned about their children’s education, criticized school closures due to covid-19, and pledged to ban critical racial theory, an academic doctrine that sees from schools. the slave past in the country as the source of the racism that still exists.
McAuliffe, a centrist figure who has been in the Democratic Party for decades, has yet to admit defeat.
“We still have a lot of votes to count. We will continue to count votes because every voter deserves to have their voice heard,” said McAuliffe, surrounded by his family.
With 95% of votes counted at the state level, Youngkin won 51% (over 1,655,000 votes), while McAuliffe won 48.3% (1,570,000), according to The New York Times.
However, in New Jersey there is still no clear winner. With 87% of the votes counted, Democratic candidate Phil Murphy is 49.5% behind Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli, with 49.6%.
Murphy was first elected in New Jersey in 2017 by a margin of 14 points. Also in this state, Biden defeated Trump by 16 points a year ago. All polls predicted a comfortable Democrat victory.
The provisional results point, in these two states, to a significant mobilization of the Republican base, in parallel with the frustration of the Democrats.
Source: with agencies