I spoke to CNN’ Eric Bradner about Glenn Youngkin’s successful campaign in Virginia and what Republicans can take away from his victory.
“The biggest thing Youngkin was able to do was bridge the gap between the increasingly populist base and some of the more mild-mannered traditional Republicans voters who blanched at Trump’s style,” said veteran Republican strategist Liam Donovan.
Trump endorsed Youngkin and issued a series of statements praising him. He also held an invite-only tele-rally on the eve of the election that was organized without Youngkin’s involvement. But he did not visit the state, and after his ban from major social media platforms, did not have a significant role in the race.”Glenn benefited from Trump’s relatively low profile, both in the sense that his absence undermined McAuliffe’s preferred argument, and because his nominal support was still a key signifier for motivating MAGA-minded voters who might otherwise be wary of an establishment-friendly candidate,” Donovan said.
Youngkin also brought his own strengths to the table. The former Rice basketball player and chief executive of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group was an unproven commodity as a first-time candidate — and carried the risk of facing attacks similar to those Mitt Romney faced as a presidential candidate in 2012.
“Glenn proved to be a really solid, natural retail pol, which as a first time candidate was not always assured. You can’t teach that,” Donovan said.
Read the full piece here.