Republican Glenn Youngkin elected governor of Virginia, setback for Democrats and Joe Biden
Steph Deschamps / November 3, 2021
After counting more than 95% of the votes, the 54-year-old businessman, with no political experience, is ahead of his opponent, Terry McAuliffe, 64, former governor of this eastern U.S. state (2014-2018), by 2.7 points.
Glenn Youngkin, who won the traditionally conservative rural vote, also scored well in the state's northern Democratic strongholds.
This poll was considered a barometer of support for the American president's policies, even though he has denied it.
His popularity has eroded since the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan. And his major investment plans -- one in infrastructure, the other on a social and climate component -- are blocked in Congress, victims of dissension among Democrats.
Mr. Youngkin's victory offers Republicans a strategy to win back Congress, where Democrats have a fragile majority, in the November 2022 mid-term elections.
Glenn Youngkin has capitalized on the popularity of Donald Trump, whose support he has received, without repeating the most outrageous positions of the former president so as not to scare off moderates and independents.
Opposed to mandatory masks and mandatory vaccinations for children or certain professions, he has successfully focused his campaign on education, insisting that parents should have influence over their children's school programs.
He is fiercely opposed to the teaching of critical race theory, a school of thought that analyzes racism as a system rather than individual prejudices, although Democrats say it is not part of the curriculum in Virginia.
And he is accused of seeking to ban certain books by black authors from schools, such as the literary classic Beloved by Toni Morrison, which the Republican denies.
In the election for deputy governor, Republican Winsome Sears, an African-American woman, was also ahead. Her victory would be historic because it would be the first time a minority woman has held the office.
A Republican was also ahead in the election for governor of New Jersey, according to partial results. Jack Ciattarelli was three points ahead of Democrat Phil Murphy, who is seeking a second term.
The Democrats did, however, score a victory with the expected election of Eric Adams, an African-American former police officer and anti-racist unionist, as the next mayor of New York City.