Republican Youngkin's win in Virginia plots party's path for 2022 elections

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Supporters of Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin observe arsenic they spot results travel successful connected tv during an predetermination nighttime enactment astatine a edifice successful Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 2, 2021. REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Republican Glenn Youngkin's triumph successful the Virginia governor's predetermination connected Wednesday could supply his enactment with a blueprint connected however to retake majorities successful Congress adjacent twelvemonth by wooing suburban moderates without alienating Donald Trump's supporters.

The erstwhile backstage equity executive's attack of rallying parents aggravated astir the mode schools person handled COVID-19 and thatch astir racism and sex whitethorn service arsenic a exemplary for Republicans crossed the country.

Next year's midterm elections volition find which enactment controls the U.S. Congress for the past 2 years of President Joe Biden's term. Democrats person razor-thin majorities successful the House of Representatives and Senate. Control of adjacent 1 enclosure would let Republicans to artifact astir Democratic legislative priorities.

Youngkin trailed McAuliffe successful sentiment polls for astir of the race, but that spread narrowed to a dormant vigor successful the last weeks, astatine the aforesaid clip Biden's occupation support standing fell to the lowest levels of his presidency.

Youngkin, 54, walked a good enactment connected the mendacious claims by Trump, the erstwhile president, that his predetermination decision successful 2020 was the effect of wide fraud, avoiding the taxable himself but campaigning with Republican authorities Senator Amanda Chase who has embraced them.

He besides backed Republican arguments that schoolhouse curriculums that sermon racism are promoting "critical contention theory," a instrumentality schoolhouse conception that maintains racism is ingrained successful U.S. instrumentality and institutions and that legacies of slavery and segregation person created an uneven playing tract for Black Americans.

Schools accidental they bash not see the mentation successful simple and precocious schoolhouse curriculums, but are trying to respond to the needs of an progressively divers U.S. population.

At the aforesaid time, Youngkin worked to debar turning disconnected Virginia's mean voters whose increasing numbers - particularly successful the Washington suburbs - person swung the Southern authorities Democratic successful the past 4 statesmanlike elections.

'A TRICKY PATH'

Youngkin's triumph whitethorn supply a template for Republicans who volition locomotion a good enactment successful competitory legislature races adjacent year.

"It's a tricky path," said Kyle Kondik, an expert astatine the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. Kondik said Youngkin deftly distanced himself from Trump portion besides making pledges to amended predetermination integrity arsenic a mode to entreaty to Trump voters.

The contention was important capable for Democrats that Biden and erstwhile President Barack Obama visited the authorities to run for McAuliffe, 64, successful its last weeks. Previously, Virginia had elected conscionable 1 Republican politician successful the past 2 decades and Democrats presently besides power some houses of the authorities legislature.

Schools were a large absorption for Youngkin, who opposes COVID-19 information rules requiring that masks beryllium worn successful Virginia's classrooms arsenic good arsenic anti-racism education.

Campaigners person brawled astatine schoolhouse committee meetings implicit the anti-racism contented this year, prompting the FBI to measurement up its effect to threats against committee members.

"It forces our children to presumption everything done a lens of race," Youngkin said astatine a run halt successful Chesterfield, Virginia, connected Oct. 8.

A erstwhile main enforcement of Carlyle Group Inc (CG.O), Youngkin besides pledged to beryllium pugnacious connected criminals, rounding disconnected a handbasket of issues observers spot arsenic tailored to Trump supporters without turning disconnected suburban moderates.

McAuliffe tried to necktie Youngkin intimately to Trump, moving tv ads that juxtaposed his opponent's calls for amended predetermination information with images of Trump and the U.S. Capitol riot.

But Youngkin parried those attacks, saying past period it was "weird and wrong" erstwhile radical astatine a rally supporting him pledged allegiance to a emblem carried by Trump supporters astatine the deadly Jan. 6 battle connected the spot of the U.S. government.

Trump struck a comparatively mean code erstwhile helium called successful to a pro-Youngkin tele-rally connected Monday, telling voters that Youngkin would support suburbs, portion making nary notation of his past warnings that Virginia's predetermination could beryllium marred by fraud. Youngkin did not enactment successful the rally.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone, Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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