After Republicans swept numerous races in multiple states on Tuesday, CNN political analyst Scott Jennings predicted a coming red tsunami.
Republicans dominated statewide elections in Virginia, turning the governorship red, electing the state's first black woman to a statewide office, and electing a Hispanic to a statewide office for the first time.
What did Jennings say?
Jennings, who worked for former President George W. Bush, said during CNN's election night coverage that Republican Glenn Youngkin, the Virginia governor-elect, discovered the formula that will make Republicans victorious in 2022 and 2024.
"Well, in algebra, we're often trying to solve for 'X,' and Republican politics, we're often trying to solve for 'T,' for Trump — and Youngkin figured it out," Jennings said.
"He kept Trump out of the race, basically, he didn't campaign there. He didn't wake up every day talking about it. He didn't feel the need to respond to every, you know, grievance or whatever. He kept focused on the issues, and heretofore, some Republican candidates would have said, 'Well, then you're running the risk of the MAGA voters not turning out,'" he explained.
"Look at the map, the rural counties not only came out, they came out huge," Jennings continued. "So, it turns out that Glenn Youngkin has solved for this problem in that you can run a race based on issues, continue to attract the Trump base, get a path back in the suburbs, and take advantage, frankly, of the just enormous collapse, continued collapse, of the Democratic Party in rural areas. That's how we win.
"That's how we're going to be successful," Jennings declared. "When you can put the suburbs back together with rural areas the way we used to do."
In fact, the statewide results in Virginia provide a road map for future Republican victories, Jennings explained — so long as they follow Youngkin's model of keeping former President Donald Trump at arm's length.
"I think Republicans have an enormous chance to win in '22 and '24," Jennings said.
"Donald Trump is the least likely person to give the Republicans a chance to win back the White House," he cautioned. "Somebody who can do what Glenn Youngkin did and put the coalition together, rural counties, people who voted for Trump, people who didn't vote for Trump, but like to vote Republican, suburban moms."
"And by the way, look at the ticket, people who look like America, the African-American woman we just elected to lieutenant governor, the Hispanic that we just elected to attorney general, Republicans have solved this coalition issue in Virginia: suburbs, rural, female, male, white, black, Hispanic, that's how we win," Jennings explained. "And so if you follow the Youngkin blueprint, talk about issues, put together the ticket that looks and sounds like America, you can do it."
What do data show?
Exit poll data reveal how Youngkin, and Republicans statewide, pulled off victory in Virginia.
Youngkin, in fact, significantly outperformed Trump in several key demographics, including: women (by 11 points), voters ages 18-29 (by 13 points), voters ages 30-44 (by 12 points), non-college graduates (by 14 points), non-college-graduated white women (by 19 points), and, probably most significantly, independent voters (by 16 points).
Exit poll data also revealed Youngkin was favored by voters on four of the election's five most important issues: taxes, the economy/jobs, education, and abortion. Democrat Terry McAuliffe only bested Youngkin on COVID-19.
The Washington Post explained:
Democrats and Republicans turned out in similar numbers in the race and each overwhelmingly supported their party's candidate, leaving independents to swing the race -- who favored Youngkin by a 54 percent to 45 percent margin according to early exit polling, a big swing from the 2020 presidential election where independents favored Biden by 19 points.
Youngkin was also aided by Biden's negative job approval ratings in the commonwealth and had favorable ratings even among some of those who were unfavorable of former President Trump. Voters said the economy and education were the most important issues facing the state...
The data demonstrate that not only did Virginians turn out to vote for Youngkin, they turned out to vote against the Democratic Party.
Perhaps the overwhelming loss is why Democrats are blaming "racism" and "white supremacy" for GOP victories, rather than engaging in honest self-reflection.
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