Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is leading a campaign in Virginia this fall that is a model for Republicans to study across the country.
Virginia has off-year legislative elections, and he has taken on the challenge of fighting to keep the General Assembly and win the Senate.
Gov. Youngkin has three big things going for him.
First, he is doing a great job as governor, and he gets support from a vast majority of Virginians. A July Morning Consult poll showed 57 percent of Virginians approved of Youngkin’s performance. Only 32 percent disapproved. That is a solid base from which to wage a campaign for help in the legislature.
Second, Gov. Youngkin has great issue positions. He wants to cut taxes while his Democrat opponents want to spend more money and make government even bigger. Currently, there is a projected $5 billion surplus. Gov. Youngkin would give most of it back to Virginians and to Virginia companies. His argument is that making Virginia more attractive will bring in even more companies. This will create even more jobs and raise incomes for all Virginians.
The Democrats hate to give Virginians their own money. The Democratic model is to spend as much as possible on public bureaucracy and argue that bureaucrats can do more for the people of Virginia than the private sector. Being for higher taxes is a big burden for Democrats to carry. It may please their interest group allies, but it loses them support among average hard working Virginians.
Third, Gov. Youngkin has launched a “Secure Your Vote Virginia” campaign, which is designed to mobilize votes and get his supporters to the polls as early as possible. He analyzed the outcomes in 2020 and 2022 and realized that allowing the Democrats to build up a huge advantage before Election Day made it hard—sometimes impossible—for Republicans to play catchup on Election Day.
As Gov. Youngkin explained it in a USA Today article on Aug. 13, “Republicans need to stop fighting early voting. It’s how we can win on Election Day.”
He went on to write Republicans cannot afford to go into Election Day down thousands of votes. That will all but guarantee loses.
Gov. Youngkin has offered his own time and prestige—and raised a lot of resources—to bring together a professional team to maximize Republican turnout this fall.
If Gov. Youngkin’s all-out push pays off in significant Republican legislative gains this fall, his role as a Republican leader with a positive vision and real achievements will be greatly expanded almost overnight.