Virginia election is a key barometer for 2024 and a huge test for GOP rising star Glenn Youngkin

EXCLUSIVE – Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is donning the red vest once again in the final stretch of the campaign ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Virginia general election.

Youngkin wore a similar red vest two years ago as the first-time candidate from the party’s business wing edged out former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to become the first GOP candidate in a dozen years to win a gubernatorial election in a swing state of the year that had been leaning toward the Democrats for the previous decade.

His victory emboldened Republicans and immediately made Youngkin a rising star in the GOP that some pundits viewed as a possible 2024 White House contender.

Now he’s wearing the vest again as he aims to preserve the GOP’s narrow majority in the state House and regain control of the state Senate, where Democrats currently hold a fragile majority.


Glenn Youngkin urges Republicans to participate in early voting

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, on the campaign trail ahead of Tuesday’s state House election, in Yorktown, Virginia on November 2, 2023. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

“We have a job to do. And the job we have to do right now is to keep the House and flip the Senate. Keep the House and flip the Senate,” Youngkin stressed as he led a rally in Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday to support two Republican congressional candidates.

Youngkin is on a mission to encourage Republicans to turn out in large numbers in the state’s final days of early voting ahead of Election Day.

“When Republicans vote, Republicans win. When we get out, we win,” Youngkin said as he addressed a crowd of veterans at VFW Post 4809 in Norfolk. “We have to get the vote out.”


Youngkin’s mission is shared by the Republican National Committee, which earlier this year launched a national “Bank Your Vote” campaign to encourage GOP voters to participate in early in-person and absentee voting.

It’s a tall order, after three years of former President Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about early and absentee voting as part of his unsubstantiated claims that his 2020 election loss was due to massive voter fraud.

“There are a lot of people who voted early. And across the state, we’ve seen an increase in early voting and absentee ballots and especially in the battleground districts, we’ve seen a very good movement,” Youngkin said in a nationally exclusive interview with Fox News after the second rally of the day, at the historic Yorktown freight shed.

Youngkin emphasized that “we’re getting these people off the sidelines and winning. I’m very happy with the turnout so far, people are voting and that’s the most important thing.”

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin on the 2023 campaign

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin rallies on behalf of GOP congressional candidates ahead of the closely watched state election in Norfolk, Virginia on November 2, 2023 (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

Absolute Republican control of state government in Richmond would allow Youngkin to push a conservative agenda.

Part of that agenda includes a proposed 15-week abortion ban, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

The blockbuster move last year by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the nearly half-century landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which allowed legal abortion nationwide, moved the divisive issue back to the states.

And it’s forced Republicans to play quite a bit of defense in elections across the country, as an almost entirely pro-life party has had to face an electorate where a majority of Americans support at least some form of abortion access.

National and state Democrats have made abortion a critical centerpiece of their push to get out on the ballot in Virginia.

While some Republicans have shied away from focusing on abortion, Youngkin is leaning into the issue, telling Fox News that “I just wanted to be very clear about what we’re going to do.”


“The other side is very good at spreading untruths. And of course what they want to do is make abortion available all the way, including birth, paid for with taxpayer money,” Youngkin claimed.

The governor charged that the Democrats’ position is “too extreme for Virginians.”

“I was very clear, there is no prohibition. We would support a bill to protect life at 15 weeks when a baby is in pain, with exceptions for rape and incest when the mother’s life is in danger. And that is reasonable limits,” he argued . “I think with abortion, we found a place where we can come together. I think the voters will support it.”

Democrats want to keep the state’s current restrictions, which allow legal abortions until the second trimester, in place. And they note that Virginia is the only southern state that does not ban abortion.


While three states — Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi — hold gubernatorial elections in the off-year, the showdown at the polls this November appears to be Virginia’s legislative contests.

Both major parties have raised and spent a lot of money for the Commonwealth election.

Youngkin, mostly through his Spirit of Virginia PAC, has raised a record $22.5 million, with much of the funds paying for mailers, digital spots and television ads to encourage Republicans to head to the polls.

“I’m asking for your vote. Elect a group of Republicans to support me and I promise we’ll deliver,” Youngkin pledges in the closing TV ad ahead of Election Day.

Democrats have also pumped millions into the Virginia election, with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee pushing for participation through grassroots outreach, direct mail, robocalls and digital and TV ads.

“Democrats in the Virginia Legislature are the last line of defense in protecting Virginia’s fundamental freedoms, like access to an abortion,” DLCC Communications Director Abhi Rahman told Fox News. “We need all hands on deck now. If we vote, we will win.”

Barack Obama holds his hand up during the campaign event

Former President Barack Obama has recorded two taped calls urging voters to vote in Virginia’s crucial congressional election. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

And former President Barack Obama is using his star power to urge Democrats to head to the polls.

A pair of robocalls recorded by Obama are being sent to more than 100,000 households in about 20 key legislative districts in Virginia leading up to Tuesday’s election.

Youngkin’ embraces national attention in his state legislative contests.

“I think it should be a bellwether because Virginia is leading,” he stressed. “I think we can lead and show that in a state that’s gone, a state that’s completely controlled by Democrats, we can in 24 short months come together, Republicans, independents and yes, some Democrats and elect common sense conservative leadership and policies that work…I think other states should take notice.”


While the governor says he remains laser-focused on next week’s Virginia election as he avoids the 2024 debates, speculation about the presidential race surrounding Youngkin hasn’t stopped.

Some top conservative donors who don’t support Trump — the current front-runner in the GOP nomination race — this fall quietly stepped up their efforts to convince Youngin to run for the White House.

Many of those top dollar contributors met with Youngkin at a donor summit in Virginia Beach two weeks ago.

Among those contributing to the Spirit of Virginia PAC is major GOP donor Thomas Peterffy, who gave $3 million. Peterffy said in a new Forbes interview that Youngkin may reconsider a run for the White House if the GOP takes full control of Virginia’s government in next week’s election.

Virginia is holding a 2024 bellwether election

Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia greets voters after addressing the GOP caucus rally in Norfolk, Virginia on November 2, 2023 (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

When asked about those comments, Youngkin said only “I’m humbled by the fact that people are paying attention to what we’re doing in Virginia and supporting what we’re doing.”

“I’m glad the nation is watching, but we have work to do here. The next five days. What we’re focused on is holding our house and overturning our Senate,” he added.

But former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who accompanied the governor on the trail Thursday, told Fox News “there’s a window, a very short, thin, window. But if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Glen Youngin”.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign, exclusive interviews and more in our Fox News Digital Election Center.

Previous post How rap is breaking down Belfast’s barriers brick by brick, song by song
Next post UN lets Hamas ‘literally get away with murder’, says expert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *