Months ago, Glenn Youngkin, the Governor of Virginia, threw his name and prestige behind a campaign to elect Republican majorities in each chamber on the strength of a proposed state restriction on abortions. He was not up for re-election this year, but every seat in each chamber of his state’s legislature was due to be filled. And Youngkin looked, until this week, much like a rising star within the Republican Party.
Youngkin has cultivated an image as someone at some political distance from former President Donald Trump. He has, for example, made clear his view that Joseph Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election, whereas most Republicans of national prominence either deny that, or evade the point. This is one of the reasons for Youngkin’s shine. The party contains a fair amount of rank-and-file resistance to Trump, resistance which has gone without a leader. Youngkin might have been that leader, had he not placed such a large bet on the outcome of this state legislative contest, and on the state-sponsored restriction of abortions.
The Thing to Know:
It now appears that the Democratic Party will control both the House of Delegates and the Senate when the counting is complete. This will make it impossible for Youngkin to push through an extensive legislative program, on abortion or anything else, unless he reaches across the aisle and makes compromises not yet in evidence. At any rate, Youngkin is no longer a rising star.