In New Jersey and Virginia’s gubernatorial races on Tuesday, Republicans managed to massively outperform almost all expectations in results that many political observers would have dismissed as impossible a few months ago.
Glenn Youngkin, the Republican party’s candidate in Virginia, managed to win against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, even after President Joe Biden came out victorious in the state by 10 points in 2020.
Meanwhile, early Wednesday morning, the New Jersey GOP candidate Jack Ciattarelli was in the lead against incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy by around a thousand votes with 88% reporting. Last elections, Biden won in this state by almost 16 percentage points.
🚨 POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE 🚨
Glenn Youngkin WINS in Virginia!
New Jersey too close to call!
Biden Remorse ‼️
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) November 3, 2021
On Tuesday, Jon Favreau, a Democrat activist and “Pod Save America” host, posted on Twitter, saying there would be “no takes” from him that night regarding how their party lost “a Biden +10 state” just a year after the presidential elections. He added he wants to wait for more data and “be open to explanations that may not confirm my priors.” He also said, “But, wow. Not great! We got some real work to do before ‘22 (understatement).”
No takes from me tonight about why we lost a Biden +10 state a year after the election – I want to wait for more data and be open to explanations that may not confirm my priors.
But, wow. Not great!
We got some real work to do before ‘22 (understatement).
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) November 3, 2021
Meanwhile, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel exclaimed on Tuesday, “The red wave is here!” She then said the people of Virginia and the rest of America have been fed up with the president’s “divisive policies, failed leadership, and a Democrat agenda hurting working families.” She then claimed that the red wave will come in 2022 and that Virginia was just the start of it.
Kamala Harris last week while campaigning in Virginia: “What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens In 2022, 2024, and on.”
Virginians sent a resounding message rebuking Democrats. The red wave is here!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 3, 2021
In Virginia, Youngkin seems to have had a chance to make the race competitive for most of the year in a favorable political setting, even with a Democrat sitting at the White House. However, McAuliffe still had a huge advantage until the last few weeks prior to the election when issues involving critical race theory and parental say in educational institutions merged, seeing Loudoun County at its epicenter.
The poll by Fox News flipped from McAuliffe having a five-percentage-point advantage to Youngkin leading with eight percentage points in just two weeks. The Republican candidate is winning by around two percentage points with more than 95% of the state’s results in early Thursday morning.
THANK YOU, VIRGINIA!
It’s a new day in the Commonwealth, and I am profoundly humbled by the trust placed on me.
We are going to get to work on Day One to ensure that Virginians soar and never settle. pic.twitter.com/hGN89mZ8kr
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) November 3, 2021
On the other hand, New Jersey’s gubernatorial race was never seen as competitive even with the general consensus that Ciattarelli was a relatively strong GOP candidate. Most surveys saw that Murphy would come out victorious by a smaller margin than what Bidan had in 2020. However, this would be totally outside the margin of error.
Although this was not the case.
Now with 88% of the votes tallied, Ciattarelli is in the lead by around 0.5 percentage points. He might not win, as the outstanding ballots remaining to be counted are mail ballots that could swing the race in favor of the Democrats. However, the fact that a blue state like NJ could have a close competition may likely cause some introspection among the members of the Democratic party.
The GOP’s strong performances on Tuesday were not limited to the governor’s races as they also managed to flip a legislative seat in San Antonio, Texas. The Republicans also won a Pennsylvania state Supreme Court race and still have an opportunity to flip the House of Delegates in Virginia. On top of that, the party managed to sweep the lieutenant governor and attorney general races, also in Virginia.
The margins across the nation will likely force the Democrats to rethink how they would approach 2022. Meanwhile, for the GOP, many are realizing that everyday issues, like how much goods cost and the quality of schools, might help them win in 2022.
Jessica Anderson, Heritage Action’s executive director, said that Virginia has led the country to take the critical first step in going against “the Left’s cultural and economic agenda.” She went on to point out that, in a state many have considered out of reach for the GOP for a long time, Youngkin’s victory shows how powerful “kitchen-table issues” can be. “When parents see how woke policies hurt their children and their communities, they spring into action, and we saw this first hand in Virginia.”