Youngkin’s dance with Trump was crucial. But is it repeatable?
Mr. Youngkin spent $ 20 million of his own money subsidizing television commercials depicting him as a business hit from the starting blocks clad in a fleece vest with the campaign logo that cemented his image as a suburban dad. Weeks later, Mr. McAuliffe began airing his own ads attacking Mr. Youngkin as a Trump acolyte.
“The win is an honor for Glenn to be a club, not a divider,” said Barbara Comstock, a never-Trump Republican in Northern Virginia and former Congresswoman who supported Mr. Youngkin. “He understands that politics is about addition, while Trump is about subtraction and division.”
Yet while Mr. Youngkin’s chief political adviser, Jeff Roe, maintained a line of communication with Mr. Trump’s chief political adviser, Susie Wiles, the former president kept the Virginia campaign taut in the weeks leading up to election day.
The two sides worked to arrange Mr Trump’s “tele-rally” on the eve of the election, according to an adviser to Mr Youngkin, but there was no coordination of what the former president would say. Mr Trump managed not to undermine Mr Youngkin’s campaign issues.
Mr. Fredericks, the radio presenter friend of both Mr. Youngkin and Mr. Trump, credited Mr. Youngkin for not adopting a combative Trump style while adopting issues critical to the Trump grassroots, including the concerns of some white voters about it how the Racial History of America is taught in schools.
“If you look at Youngkins campaign issues, they reflected very much what is critical to America First voters and the Trump voters’ agenda,” Fredericks said in an interview on Wednesday. “He did everything he could to hug Trump voters, but we also understood that he has a different style and tone.”
Republican voters went into effect not only across Virginia, where Mr Youngkin’s margins surpassed Mr Trump’s margins in every city and district in the state, but also in numerous other competitions the former president did not participate in, including New Jersey and on Long Island. Even in liberal Seattle, a Republican has a big head start in the election of city attorney in a competition in which the Democrat ran for the abolition of the police.