Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Glenn Youngkin in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Friday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Standing on a flatbed hitched to a John Deere tractor in red Rockingham County, Virginia, Glenn Youngkin decried California liberalism and bashed his rival, Terry McAuliffe. He also encouraged early voting. Two words he avoided: Donald Trump.

Driving the news: Youngkin, the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee, is mounting a serious challenge to McAuliffe — a former governor and veteran of Democratic politics. Axios caught up with him on Friday in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Trump has been turning up the heat on Youngkin to fully embrace him, arguing Republicans who try to have it both ways can't win. Youngkin isn't taking the bait.

  • “I brought together Forever-Trumpers and Never-Trumpers, sitting in the same audience, excited about what we're doing," Youngkin told Axios.
  • “President Trump knows exactly where I stand," he said. "He knows that I stand completely for Virginia."

Why it matters: Off-year gubernatorial elections in this increasingly blue swing state often are seen as a bellwether.

  • The contest this Nov. 2 has the potential to reflect — at least partly — where persuadable voters come down on COVID-19 mandates.
  • The results also may show how Trump's absence from office and the ballot — and Democratic infighting as well as President Biden's recent drop in popularity — could impact turnout next year.

The big picture: Youngkin has walked a tightrope in the hope of making himself an appealing choice for both Trump supporters and independent voters. It appears to be working.

  • The Cook Political Report last week shifted its categorization of the race to “toss-up” from “lean Democrat.”
  • A recent Washington Post-Schar School poll found McAuliffe and Youngkin in a tight race, with McAuliffe at 50% to Youngkin's 47% among likely voters.
  • "I think we're able to make a real statement that a Republican candidate in a state like Virginia can win,” Youngkin told Axios. “The issues that are on Americans' minds right now are very similar to the issues that are in Virginians’ minds.”
  • Renzo Oliveri, McAuliffe’s press secretary, said in a statement: “Glenn Youngkin —who is proud to have been endorsed by Donald Trump four timea — has said Donald Trump represents why he’s running for governor. His whole campaign has been predicated on Trump’s election conspiracy theory and his plan to ban abortion in Virginia. Glenn is a Forever Trumper and Terry will not let Glenn do to Virginia what Trump did to our country.”

Between the lines: Youngkin believes Biden beat Trump in the 2020 election legitimately. But while speaking with Axios, he wouldn’t say whether he would have voted to certify the election on Jan. 6 if he were a member of Congress. He did say there's “no room for violence in America.”

  • Youngkin, 54, is the former co-CEO of global private equity firm The Carlyle Group and a multimillionaire.
  • He repeatedly described himself as a “political outsider” while calling McAuliffe a “godfather” of the Democratic Party. “If Bill and Hillary had a son, it would be Terry.”
  • The church warden told voters he begins each morning in prayer — and asked them to pray for him.

What we're watching: Trump sent negative and mixed messages about early and absentee voting in 2020 that may have hurt Republican turnout. Now, many Republicans who watched Democrats' success are actively promoting early voting — Youngkin among them.

What they’re saying: Several in Youngkin's crowd in Harrisonburg said they'd voted for Trump — both in 2016 and 2020 — but saw Youngkin as independent from, rather than an extension of, the former president.

  • “It’s nothing to do with Trump," said Tom Dolan, 63.
  • “I have prayed for the past year or two for God to send us a godly candidate — and then Glenn showed up,” said Barbara Knupp, 70.

Editor’s note: Updates with comment from McAuliffe campaign.

Go deeper

Former Trump EPA head tapped as Virginia secretary of natural resources

Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday named Andrew Wheeler, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as the state's secretary of natural resources.

Why it matters: Wheeler rolled back many of the regulations intended to address climate change during his tenure as an EPA administrator. He also faced criticism for attributing increased wildfires in California to forest management.

How Trump’s endorsements are shaping a future GOP Congress

Expand chart
Data: Axios research; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Donald Trump is using the power of his endorsement not only to punish "disloyal" House Republicans but reward members of the chamber's most conservative Republican groups.

Why it matters: The former president's support for more than 20 incumbent re-election bids highlights his efforts to reshape the House Republican conference in his image, through midterms that could thrust the GOP back into power a year from now.

Partner of fallen Capitol Police officer: Trump "needs to be in prison" for Jan. 6 riot

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The longtime partner of late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick said Monday that former President Trump "needs to be in prison" for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 riot.

Why it matters: Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the riot, Sandra Garza told "PBS NewsHour" that she holds Trump "100% responsible" for her partner's death.