Opinion: Virginia’s perfect storm led to Glenn Youngkin winning the governor’s race

David Ramadan, a former Republican who represented Loudoun County as a Republican in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2012 to 2016, is a resident scholar at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Writing elsewhere , I suggested that Republican Glenn Youngkin’s platform couldn’t hold a candle to Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s policy prescriptions for Virginia, and that though Youngkin might one day be ready to serve, it wasn’t now . A narrow majority of my fellow Virginians disagreed , despite the obvious disparity in the candidates’ experience, qualifications and vision. But why? The Nov. 2 election was a perfect political storm. Except for a handful of college towns and communities where the Democratic base has grown, Republicans from the top of the ticket down delivered stunning defeats in cities and counties where, until now, trends had pointed in a different direction. When McAuliffe launched his campaign for a second term as governor, his message was simple: “Our Kids. Our Schools. Our Future.” But when he said , “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” it created a path for an electorate already energized and organized against critical race theory and coronavirus-related school closures to catapult Youngkin towards victory. And it didn’t help that suburban moms who had helped turn Virginia purple were already on edge. As their kids were being pushed to admit to “White privilege” and asked to pick pronouns, conversations about Virginia’s education culture turned into raging arguments. The […]

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