Nov 16, 2022 - Politics

Most Youngkin endorsees lost in the midterms

Youngkin in a red vest

Red vests, but not for the win. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP

That trademark red vest might not be as valuable as Gov. Youngkin thought.

What's happening: He campaigned for 15 gubernatorial candidates around the country, handing out embroidered fleeces along the way.

  • But only five of those candidates notched wins, three of which came in bright red Republican strongholds

Driving the news: The AP called Arizona's gubernatorial race for Democrat Katie Hobbs on Tuesday.

Why it matters: It was a lot of political capital to spend without a lot of payoff.

  • And there was no shortage of grumbling back in Virginia, with the top Republican in the state Senate, Minority Leader Tommy Norment, quipping in August that he hoped the governor would "intensify his focus on the commonwealth's issues."

What they're saying: Youngkin has downplayed losses.

  • "Many of them were in very tough states, blue states, and in very tough races," Youngkin's political strategist, Kristin Davison, told the Washington Post. "And I believe the governor's efforts helped put a lot of those on the map."

The other side: "Youngkin hoped his extensive out-of-state travels would create a big buzz and real momentum for a presidential bid. But the GOP flopped, Youngkin is at 0% in the presidential polls, and his bandwagon has barely moved," UVA political scientist Larry Sabato told the Post.


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