The defeat of Democrat Terry McAuliffe marked a sharp turn in a country that had shifted to the left over the past decade and been taken over by the president. Joe Biden Last year, when he won Virginia by 10 points.
The polls closed at 7:00 pm after a day of several hours.
Voting was largely quiet in Virginia. McAuliffe and Youngkin were mostly out of sight before the planned festivities in the critical northern Virginia suburbs on which each campaign depended.
The impact of the economy and the epidemic on the choice of the Democratic candidate
The violent campaign focused on issues such as Yongkin’s relations with the former president. Donald Trump, The Abortion rights and cultural battles for schools. But the voters saw Economie As the biggest problem, followed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the AP VoteCast poll, a statewide voter poll.
VoteCast showed that nearly half of Virginians had favorable opinions of Youngkin, compared to a 55% unfavorable rating of Trump, indicating that The Republican candidate for governor has succeeded in distancing himself from the former president.
Yongkin, 54, supported Trump but did not appear with him in person, although the party is still dominated by the former president.
McAuliffe, on the other hand, He campaigned with top national stars in his party, including Biden, whose last visit to Virginia came a week before Election Day. VoteCast found that Biden is underwater, with 48% of Virginia voters approving of his job performance compared to 52% disapproving, especially in a state he won handily.
Meanwhile, school issues are important to many voters and could be good news for Yongkin. His promise to ensure that parents have a greater say in what their children learn has been the focus of his campaign, and may foreshadow similar arguments that Republican candidates will use across the country next year.
Republican Ciattarelli also benefits in New Jersey
In New Jersey, Republican Jack Ciatarelli took an early lead over Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, who is trying to become the first Democratic governor to be elected for the second time in more than 40 years.
In New Jersey, polling stations closed an hour later, at 8:00 p.m. (EDT).
Opinion polls on the specialized site RealClearPolitics They gave Murphy a comfort sale on election eve.
Local elections as a thermometer for Biden acceptance
The results can be interpreted as a preliminary verdict on Biden. One year after he easily won Virginia by 10 percentage points.
But defeat in a country that has tilted toward the Democrats for more than a decade will only serve to deepen the sense of anxiety within the party ahead of next year’s midterm elections, when the ballot is at stake. congressional control. But in the evening Biden expressed optimism, acknowledging that “the year abroad is not always predictable.”
“I think we’re going to win in Virginia,” Biden said at a news conference in Scotland, where he was attending the international climate summit. “I don’t think, nor have I seen any evidence that whether I do it right or wrong or not, and whether or not you agree to my agenda, it will have a real impact on winning or losing…”
In recent months, White House It has been shaken by the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, a slow economic recovery during the pandemic and a legislative agenda at risk of being stuck in a stalemate on Capitol Hill.