Virginia: Republican Youngkin leads Virginia gubernatorial election

Election night in Virginia

The Republicans are already preparing for an election victory.

(Photo: AP)

Washington The result of the gubernatorial election in the US state of Virginia is eagerly awaited in the US – it is considered an important test of mood for US President Joe Biden. At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening (local time / midnight CET), the polling stations in the state closed. Biden-backed Democrat Terry McAuliffe was head-to-head with Republican Glenn Youngkin. Results are expected on Wednesday (CET). According to several US broadcasters, Youngkin was ahead of Democrat McAuliffe after the first votes were counted. The result was still open.

A few months ago it looked like a comfortable victory for McAuliffe, but Republican Youngkin has been able to catch up significantly in polls in recent weeks – and was recently even slightly ahead. McAuliffe (64) was governor from 2014 to 2018, Youngkin (54) is a successful businessman. Former President Donald Trump supports him. The election one year before the congressional elections is considered a kind of referendum on Biden’s politics. In the US presidential election a year ago in Virginia, Biden won by a ten-point lead over Trump.

The state borders on the US capital Washington. The people of New Jersey were also called upon to appoint a governor. A new mayor was elected in the metropolis of New York on Tuesday. But the main interest was in the Virginia election. The Democrats have held governorship there for the past eight years. In Virginia, governors are not allowed to run for two consecutive terms. But you can – like McAuliffe – compete a second time later. The current governor is Democrat Ralph Northam.

Trump’s Republicans want to regain a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives in the congressional elections in a year’s time. Biden’s Democrats currently have a slim majority in both chambers of Congress. The Virginia elections are now seen as an indicator of the political mood in the country. If the Democrats lose, that will be seen as a clear setback for President Biden. This was certain of victory at the climate summit in Glasgow on Tuesday evening. “We will win. I think we’ll win in Virginia, ”he said there.

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„Trump in Khakihosen“

On the other hand, he did not want to know that his political performance could have an impact on the election result. “I also haven’t seen any evidence that whether I’m doing well or badly, whether or not I’ve got my agenda through, will have any real impact on winning or losing,” he said. Biden has long tried to get two investment packages through Congress. So far he has failed because of wing battles in his own democratic party.

The Democrats are well aware of the importance of the election – and have party celebrities appear at campaign events. From Vice President Kamala Harris to Biden himself to ex-President Barack Obama, everyone promoted McAuliffe. Biden called Youngkin “a supporter of Donald Trump”. During a campaign appearance for his fellow party member, Obama warned against a “return to the chaos that has caused so much damage”.

McAuliffe also tried to move his political opponent close to Trump and called him, for example, “Trump in khaki pants”. Youngkin, on the other hand, tried to keep his distance from Trump publicly. The Republican presented himself as an exemplary suburban father and made education and the question of what should be taught in the classroom a campaign topic. He tried to win over moderate voters in particular. His rise was accompanied by a steep drop in Biden’s approval rating. This is at the lowest level of his presidency to date.

More: Republicans in the US are benefiting from Joe Biden’s falling popularity. An internet meme shows the new self-confidence of the right – fueled by Donald Trump.

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