Update, 9:26 p.m.: Other statewide races appear to have gone for the GOP.
First Black woman Lt. Governor.
First Hispanic and first children of immigrants as Attorney General.
This is the new Virginia GOP.
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) November 3, 2021
Tonight is a truly historic night in Virginia.
All of the people on MSNBC convincing themselves that all of these VA voters — who voted for Biden a year ago! — are idiots, racists, and/or dupes is pretty wild.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) November 3, 2021
The results in the Virginia governor’s race are in, and voters in the Commonwealth have chosen Republican Glenn Youngkin to be their next governor.
Our partners at Decision Desk HQ called the race for Youngkin shortly before 9:00, but others began to call the race earlier.
I’ve seen enough: Glenn Youngkin (R) defeats Terry McAuliffe (D) in the Virginia governor’s race. #VAGOV
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 3, 2021
This race has been a study in fortunes turning around. For much of the race, McAuliffe dominated. In mid-August, he led Youngkin in the RealClearPolitics average to the tune of 43-37.5. McAuliffe held about a five-point lead until the last week in September, when Youngkin began to close the gap.
Early on in the race, the typical issues of the economy and jobs dominated the discussion, but as the campaign drew to a close, education became a front-and-center issue. Concerns over critical race theory, combined with parents’ increasing concerns over how much say they should have in their children’s education, brought education into the spotlight. Scandals in Loudoun County, where a gender-fluid male student raped a female student in a bathroom, helped make education a hot topic.
McAuliffe stated several times that parents had no say in their kids’ education. When Youngkin pointed McAuliffe’s statements out in an ad, McAuliffe said that Youngkin had taken him out of context (which wasn’t true). McAuliffe’s problems became worse when former president Barack Obama described parents’ worries as “fake outrage.”
Related: Is It All Over for Terry McAuliffe?
As education took center stage, the polls began to narrow. McAuliffe’s attempts to tie Youngkin to Donald Trump failed, but McAuliffe couldn’t shake the specter of Joe Biden, especially when he brought in Democratic luminaries like Randi Weingarten into Virginia to stump for him.
Youngkin surged in the last days of the race, and he appears to have carried his momentum all the way across the finish line.
The GOP sweeps Virginia. Go turn on MSNBC. https://t.co/ZEwFUw7ryQ
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) November 3, 2021
Virginia has a reputation as a blue state. Biden carried the state by 10 points, and they elected McAuliffe to the governor’s mansion in 2013 before electing Democrat Ralph Northam in 2017.
However, tonight the tides appear to have changed. Youngkin dominated in the western part of the state, and even in the Democrat strongholds in northern Virginia, the results are more narrow than many predicted they would be.
Unless something completely shocking happens, Youngkin has pulled off what would have been impossible just a few weeks ago.
Congratulations to Glenn Youngkin.