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Glenn Youngkin shocked the Vir­ginia Polls | Flickr

Vir­ginia’s red wave hit high tide last Sat­urday, when the state swore in its new Repub­lican gov­ernor, Glenn Youngkin – and pointed the way forward for a GOP that hopes to rebound from the pres­i­dential defeat of 2020.

Since the exit of a dis­graced Repub­lican gov­ernor a decade ago, the recent Amazon factory move, and the immi­gration of Wash­ing­to­nians into Vir­ginia, the Com­mon­wealth has become dependably blue.

But on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, Repub­lican busi­nessman Glenn Youngkin shocked the Vir­ginia polls, the country, and the entire CNN staff with his two-point victory over former Democrat Gov. Terry McAu­liffe in the Old Dominion’s guber­na­torial election. 

But you attend college in Michigan in the state’s reddest county: why should you care?

First of all, have you seen the gas prices?

Youngkin’s Vir­ginia victory showed D.C. Democrats and the Biden admin­is­tration that their agenda, record, and rhetoric do not bode well for them in the 2022 midterm elec­tions or the 2024 pres­i­dential election. This guber­na­torial election explains and pre­dicts a broader, national political pattern. 

Youngkin ran a pos­itive cam­paign with his kind char­acter to back him up. But, that didn’t stop him from running a rampage against Critical Race Theory in schools, COVID-19 vac­cines, mask man­dates, the anti-law enforcement movement, and the failing Biden administration. 

Youngkin effec­tively mobi­lized the moms of Loudon County against CRT, used social media, and expanded the cam­paign budget for what feels like the first time in Repub­lican history. Youngkin heard Vir­ginians who were tired of big gov­ernment encroaching on their busi­nesses, and his pos­itive message gave us loyal Vir­ginians hope that we might be able to– for lack of a better phrase– make the Com­mon­wealth great again.

“I think it was a trial run,” Vir­ginia Sen. Mark Oben­shain told The Col­legian. “Both sides got to try out their best weapons to see how they work and how to defend them.”

Democrats and McAu­liffe attempted to turn Youngkin into a Trump figure, but it failed miserably. 

“They tried to paint Glenn Youngkin as a Trump-clone, but people looked at him and realized that this vest-wearing northern Vir­ginia busi­nessman doesn’t seem like what the democrats were por­traying him as,” Oben­shain said.

Youngkin, in reality, could not be a kinder, more faithful man. Youngkin is, as Oben­shain attested, a sincere, humble man. 

“With Glenn Youngkin what you see is what you get. The sin­cerity factor is low amid politi­cians,” Oben­shain said.

Yet, a Trump-centric cam­paign will be the Democrats’ strategy in 2022. 

“They think Trump’s so radioactive that people will ignore that gasoline costs $4 a gallon and that their kids haven’t been in school for two years,” Oben­shain said

Youngkin’s victory demon­strated that a pos­itive, dis­ci­plined cam­paign backed by a good, per­sonable can­didate will win the ticket on the national stage in 2022 against neg­ative, nasty, and out-of-touch opponents. 

Repub­licans around the country should take notes and Democrats should take heed.