Republicans surprise win in Virginia raises doubts about Biden

At the start of 2022, Republican Glenn Youngkin is set to take office as the new governor of Virginia. His win comes as a surprise to many, especially to President Joe Biden, who thought Virginia would remain a mostly democratic state as it did during the 2020 presidential elections, but Democrat runner Terry McAuliffe lost by very few votes to Youngkin.

Since President Biden began his term back in January, his approval rate has fallen to only 43%, for many reasons, including the fall of the global supply chains to the United States, gas prices increasing, but most notably, his decision to withdraw US troops in Afghanistan amidst the Taliban’s invasion of Kabul. Biden has been heavily criticised for this decision, and it was this action which really began to lessen his popularity.

However, Biden isn’t to blame for Youngkin’s win, as his opponent McAuliffe seemed to push away voters with his approach, whereas Youngkin managed to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats. Donald Trump became the first Republican president in nearly a decade by the time he moved into the White House, and his term caused many Republicans to vote for Biden in the presidential elections that took place over a year ago. Youngkin kept the former president at arm’s length throughout his winning campaign, as well as differing McAuliffe’s controversial approach, which made many democrats turn their backs on him.

According to many sources, the Democrat’s loss of both Virginia and New Jersey for state governor is sending shockwaves through the political party. With a year to go before the mid-term presidential campaign, the Republican party’s tactics have seemed to win over many previous Trump supporters as well as swing voters. Youngkin’s victory isn’t the only win for the party as Winsome Sears was elected as Virginia’s lieutenant governor and is the first female and the first woman of colour to take the position. Not only this, Jason Miyares, also became Virginia’s first Latino attorney general. Republicans seem to be taking the United States by storm in light of recent governor results, many are asking: what’s next for the Democrats?

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Sienna Norris

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August 2022
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