Virginia is down to the wire and the race has condensed to three key issues: Education, inflation, and crime. If Youngkin can make the case with swing voters on that trio he will win. Matt Gorman, lately of the NRCC, has an analysis.
Emily is a lifelong Democrat. She voted for Terry McAuliffe 8 years ago, and Joe Biden last year.
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) October 27, 2021
Gorman: Here we go again. It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year since the 2020 presidential election. And in just a few short weeks, the focus will already turn to the 2022 midterms, where President Joe Biden’s agenda will hang in the balance.
History is not on the Democrats’ side next year though. In past midterm elections, the president’s party lost an average of 26 House seats and 4 Senate seats respectively.
Republicans are favored to continue that trend and overcome a slim Democratic majority to take back the House. The balance of power in the Senate, however, will hinge on races in states like New Hampshire, Nevada, and Georgia.
But before we worry about all that. Let’s turn our focus to the Commonwealth of Virginia. We’re a week out from Election Day in the Old Dominion. Democrat and former Governor Terry McAuliffe is facing Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin in the race to become the state’s next governor.
Virginia has unquestionably transformed into a reliably blue state over the last decade thanks to explosive growth in the Northern Virginia suburbs. Yet in spite of the state’s recent Democratic bent, Youngkin has run a strong campaign and both parties concede this race is extremely close.
No matter what the results are next week, people will try and extrapolate what it’ll mean for next year’s midterms. It will mostly just be guesswork. However, even before we see who wins, we do know what issues are dominating the race and how those same issues could play out next year. Upon examination of what’s on voters’ minds, it appears national Republicans would do well to take notes on Youngkin’s campaign and these issues.
1) If you’re following the Virginia race you’ve heard a lot about education and you’re going to hear even more in this last week. It’s quickly becoming the defining issue of the race.
2) You don’t need to be a Virginian to see higher prices on everyday goods. The cost of milk has already risen about 30 cents from last year. Gas prices are the highest they’ve been in seven years, with every state’s average more than three dollars per gallon.
3) And finally, keep an eye on public safety and crime. It’s been a hot-button issue in Virginia. Youngkin has attacked the former governor relentlessly, focusing on two key points: McAuliffe accepting the endorsement of a liberal group which supports defunding the police and the 43 percent rise in the murder rate during his tenure as governor.
In short, education, inflation, and crime are what you should keep an eye on–both next week and next year.
But more importantly, look at what these three things have in common. They’re all “kitchen table issues.” They affect voters every single day. Whether Youngkin wins or loses next Tuesday, Republicans should follow his example next year: run on real issues that appeal to a broad swath of voters—particularly those in the suburbs who’ve drifted away from the party of late.