Glenn Youngkin Wins Virginia Governor’s Race, Shifting State To GOP Control

According to the Associated Press, Republican Glenn Youngkin beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Tuesday's race for Virginia governor. This was the first statewide victory for Republicans in more than a decade after a close race that became a referendum on Trump and Biden administrations.

Glenn Youngkin, Republican candidate for governor, greets people in Warrenton on October 29, 2021. [+] Virginia. Getty Images

The Key Facts

After more than five hours since Virginia polls closed, the Associated Press called the race for Youngkin at 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Youngkin was ahead of McAuliffe by 50.9% to 48.4%, an 82,100-vote margin at 12:46 AM. More than 95% of results were reported. In its final weeks, the race was intense and attracted national attention. Former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden campaigned for McAuliffe. And former President Donald Trump encouraged voters to vote for Youngkin in an email Monday.

What to Watch

Youngkins' four-year term at Virginias Executive Mansion in January will begin. He will replace Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

Important Background

Youngkin was an executive at Carlyle Group before running for office. McAuliffe, a former governor of Virginia and Democratic National Committee chair, has close ties with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Both candidates were tied in most pre-Election Day surveys, which poses a serious challenge to Democrats, who won Virginia by large margins in both the 2017 gubernatorial election and the 2020 presidential election. The race has been seen to be influenced by national politics in recent weeks: Biden's approval rating in Virginia is below 50% according to some polls. However, Biden and McAuliffe sought to cast Youngkin, who won Trumps endorsement, but has kept some distance as a redux for the former president. Youngkin tried to link McAuliffe with critical race theory in schools. McAuliffe claimed Youngkins planned tax cuts that would decimate public school budgets. Both candidates denied the allegations. Both candidates also disagree on Covid-19. McAuliffe called Youngkin an anti-vaxxer because Youngkin opposed vaccine mandates. Youngkin however claims he supports vaccines.


Forbes estimates that Youngkins net worth was $440 million in September. This is largely due to his stake at the Carlyle Group. Youngkin contributed millions to his campaign, which helped him slightly surpass McAuliffe's Oct. 21 total donations, despite being behind McAuliffe during September.

Surprising Fact

Youngkin is the first Republican to win state office in Virginia since former Governor. Bob McDonnell won in 2009. Virginia voted consistently for Republican presidential candidates throughout the 20th century but alternated between the two parties during gubernatorial elections. In recent years, Democrats have consolidated their control over Northern Virginia's fast-growing D.C. suburbs. They have steadily shifted the balance of power within state government and handed Democratic presidential nominees a series of unbroken wins that began in 2008.

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Republican Glenn Youngkin Taps his Personal Fortune in Tightening Virginia Governor Race (Forbes).

Republican Glenn Youngkin Makes Billionaire Donations to Virginia Governor Race (Forbes).