In a statement, Mr McAuliffe compared Mr Youngkin to other Republicans who are “tickling all over Donald Trump” and “fully embrace his far-right agenda,” adding, “Now Glenn Youngkin has paid enough to buy the Republican governor’s nomination, so that he can keep Donald Trump’s dangerous playbook here in Virginia. “
Republicans have not won a state election in Virginia since 2009. This reflects the changing demographics of the state, as well as the party’s tendency in recent years to nominate candidates who sparked divisive social issues, rather than appealing to suburban voters about priorities at the kitchen table.
The knocking Mr. Northam gave his Republican rival in 2017 was both a rejection of Mr. Trump and a catalyst to push Virginia, a once purple state, further out of Republican orbit. Mr Trump lost Virginia 10 percentage points in November.
Still, Republicans believe they have a better chance of winning nationwide this year than ever in the last decade after the Democrats, who took full control of Richmond in 2020, passed a comprehensive liberal gun restriction law and the minimum wage and had raised other problems.
Mr. Youngkin, 54, grew up in Virginia Beach and has lived in Northern Virginia for 25 years. Not only did he defeat Snyder, a tech entrepreneur, but he also overtook state Senator Amanda Chase, who was censored in a non-partisan vote in the state general assembly for calling the Capitol rioters “patriots” on January 6th.
Supporters of Ms. Chase accused Snyder partisans in the State party of rejecting the “dismantled convention” of a primary and technical Saturday in order to compromise their chances. Ms. Chase had said that if he became the nominee, she would run as an independent person. There is no indication that she intends to do so if Mr. Youngkin heads the party’s ticket, which also includes candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Many G.O.P. Insiders breathed a sigh of relief that Ms. Chase hadn’t won the governor’s nomination. They believed that given that Mr. Trump is deeply unpopular in Virginia, their candidacy for the general election would likely go up in flames.