Donald Trump: Republican insider suggest Trump will run for presidency in 2024
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Republican Glenn Youngkin has been elected Governor of Virginia, a state held by Democrats for 15 of the past 19 years. Failed Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe proved unable to win voters to his side by likening Mr Youngkin to former President Donald Trump.
Mr McAuliffe, who served as Governor for Virginia from 2014-2018, rallied the support of numerous key Democratic figures in the hope of gaining reelection.
President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris were just some of the figures to throw their weight behind Mr McAuliffe.
But despite being presented on numerous occasions as a Trump minion, Mr Youngkin kept his distance from the former President, although as Charles Lipson writes in The Spectator, “without alienating the former President’s ardent supporters”.
Mr Trump held a ‘tele-rally’ on Monday evening, announcing his support for Mr Youngkin and telling Virginians to “get out and vote”, but the Republican Governor-elect did not personally attend.
Mr McAuliffe still tried his best to persuade voters that voting Republican was akin to voting Trump.
Talking in the state’s capital, he said: “I’m closing my campaign with you in Richmond. He is closing his campaign with Donald Trump. Really?”
But this approach did not wash with voters.
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“McAuliffe’s loss shows his party cannot recapture those disaffected voters by constantly asserting every opponent is a Trump wannabe or white supremacist,” writes Mr Lipson.
While the Democrat made numerous references to Mr Trump in his campaign, Mr Youngkin appears to have impressed voters by talking about issues, including education.
“We are going to restore excellence in our schools… We are going to introduce choice in our public school system… Friends, we’re going to embrace our parents, not ignore them. We’re gonna press forward with a curriculum that includes listening to parents’ input,” he told voters after his victory was announced.
Mr Youngkin may have distanced himself from the former President, but Trump himself, quoted in the Independent, was happy to take some credit for the fact his “base” came out in support of the Republican, noting that “the MAGA [Make America Great Again] movement is bigger and stronger than before”.
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“It is looking like Terry McAuliffe’s campaign against a certain person named ‘Trump’ has very much helped Glenn Youngkin. All McAuliffe did was talk Trump, Trump, Trump and he lost,” he added.
Before the result came out, AP News framed the election as a “referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency” – the loss of which will come as a big blow.
Mr Biden recently suggested that he was not concerned by his approval rating slipping to one of the lowest levels since his presidency began.
An NBC poll reported that just 42% of registered voters approve of his performance in office.
“The polls are going to go up and down and down,” Mr Biden said in response. “Look at every other president, the same thing has happened.”
But the result in Virginia is likely to awaken Democrat leaders to some of the weaknesses of Biden’s administration ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
All that remains to be seen is whether the Democrats learn from this electoral loss or continue making the same mistakes.
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