A significant Republican victory, flipping hundreds of thousands of votes since the presidential election in 2020, … was also a disaster for Donald Trump’s chances of returning to the White House.
Youngkin — whom the former president had endorsed numerous times via press release, although staying well away from Virginia in person — studiously avoided any mention of him during the campaign, and won a bigger proportion of votes in “deep red” south West Virginia than Trump did in 2020.
Republican party members, donors and preselectors, some of whom loathe Trump or desperately want to shake off the shackles of Mar-A-Lago, now have proof that a conventional Republican figure, with zero name recognition to boot, can win a major state on the strength of a good campaign alone.
Moreover, Youngkin won without abusing his opponents, focusing almost entirely on issues of school choice and curriculum, tax, and law and order, which resonated with an electorate perhaps jaded by calls to defund the police (a move that coincidentally was voted down on the same evening in Minneapolis), and race and sexuality-based activism. …
Perhaps even worse for Trump is how Democrats will stop talking about him in key election contests. McAuliffe made practically his entire campaign about Trump, telling voters Youngkin was Trump’s puppet at every opportunity. It didn’t work.
Trump showed the non-left the value of forthrightly contradicting the left’s fantasies, instead of sucking up to them. He put immigration at the center of a campaign (“build a wall”). Trump will be forever remembered as exposing the real nature of modern politics, the wealthy, woke ruling class — centered around the swamp of bureaucrats — versus everyone else. Above all, as the first non-ruling -class president since Reagan, he showed that the ruling class can still be beaten.