Tuesday night was very positive for Republicans. They won one governor’s seat in a blue state, and may still win another. Virginia was the GOP’s most decisive win, with Glenn Youngkin beating Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat.
Youngkin won just more than 50 percent of votes in the state, which hasn’t had a Republican governor elected since 2009. The vote was compared to the 10 point swing for Joe Biden in 2020. Winsome Sears, a Republican ex-state legislator who is a Marine Corps veteran and was also elected to the race for lieutenant governor. She became the first African American woman to hold that office and also the first female and first black woman. Republican Jason Miyares defeated the sitting Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.
Meanwhile, the governor’s race in deep-blue New Jersey—where Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy is running for reelection against Republican former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli—remains too close to call. These are despite the fact that Murphy had been predicted to win easily.
Even more shocking is the Virginia result when you look at individual county partisan swings.
Virginia county-level data from the state so far has counties that voted for Trump last year shifting 14 points to the right in the aggregate — and counties that voted for Biden shifting 18 points to the right.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) November 3, 2021
McAuliffe won it by 11 in Loudoun with 99% in. Biden took it by 25. pic.twitter.com/ggw7jerzmg
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) November 3, 2021
After a contentious campaign, Republicans won their victory. This was after battles over education.
Fox Exit Poll shows that the top issues for voters were education, covid panademic and economy. #VAgovRace. McAuliffe tried vaguely to convey his main message during the final week of the race: “Racism”, at 5%. pic.twitter.com/IYroYtfLtE
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) November 3, 2021
Youngkin was a businessman, political newbie, and campaigned to open Virginia’s schools. He supported an end to state-sponsored critical race theory curriculum.
McAuliffe, however, stressed the more risky message that parents should not be involved in their children’s education. The Democratic candidate made a terrible debate error in September when he stated bluntly that he didn’t believe parents should tell schools what to teach.
McAuliffe wasted a lot of campaign time trying to correct his message after it was strangely rejected. He also did everything possible to paint Youngkin as an acolyte for Donald Trump.
Youngkin’s messages on schools were called “racist dog whistle” by him. He even suggested that Trump was at a rally together in the state when in truth he was not. Pro-McAuliffe and anti-Trump anti-Republican Lincoln Project even went further by sending actors dressedUp as white nationalists wielding tiki-torchs and stand in front a Youngkin campaign van.
Youngkin tried his best to stay clear of Trump’s signature issues and attacks during his campaign, but none of these attempts seemed to work. These are the Washington Times Reports claim that there were no ads by the governor elect about illegal immigrants. This is in contrast to 2017, when Republican candidate Ed Gillespie attempted to paint Ralph Northam, then-candidate for governor, as an MS-13 backer.
Youngkin abandoned the anti-Hispanic talk points and anti-Nativist rhetoric that was popularized by nativists. The GOP has moved beyond the nativist temper tantrum.
Good riddance. https://t.co/4GQJWhDMdn pic.twitter.com/W4ndvm63hY
— The Alex Nowrasteh (@AlexNowrasteh) November 3, 2021
ReasonMatt Welch, a journalist at’s notes that Youngkin’s attacks as an unclosed white nationalist carried the politically ineffective implication that parental concerns regarding their children’s education are fundamentally racist.
Parents will be offended if you say that trying to influence their children’s school policies is a wink-nudge to hate on dark skinned people. Welch says such decisions aren’t the key to successful political strategies.
The win of Youngkin has made pundits anticipate that it will prove to be an example for a post Trump Republican party.
Due to the Virginia night event, every Republican is likely to be running for president on education issues in 2022. (Even though education was only part of the overall picture, and that “education” covers a lot more than 100 sub-issues. pic.twitter.com/S11lYm0AXW
— Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) November 3, 2021
Zaid Jilani, a journalist, argues that Youngkin’s success was due to the combination of a popular conservative message about education and more populist policies such as raising teacher wages or eliminating grocery taxes.
National Review Michael Brendan Dougherty, a writer, described Republican victories last night as victory over Democratic excesses in both COVID-19 and culture war.
It is clear that Republican culture warfare politics works better when it defends “normal people versus ideologists.” But they won’t work as “Let’s Make America More Evangelical.” 2) Covid links the education and economy pain points. The Dems must find a solution.
— Michael Brendan Dougherty (@michaelbd) November 3, 2021
Youngkin won because McAuliffe didn’t endorse the state-level abrogation of zoning restrictions.
It’s probably a Pundit’s fallacy tweet that I will do and declare T-Mac would win if he had run for a statewide preemption plan in zoning.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 3, 2021
A general election night favorable to conservatives saw the voters support radical, left-wing alternatives for rising housing costs. Minnesotans voted for ballot initiatives to control rent in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Yesterday’s Roundup mentioned that the Minneapolis initiative was the smaller. This amendment amends the Minneapolis charter and allows the Minneapolis council to either pass their rent control ordinance (as-of-yet unknown) or refer a rent control policy for voters to a future referendum.
The voters in St. Paul approved something even more ambitious. There is a 3 per cent cap on all rent increases in the city, according to the ballot initiative. This left-wing coalition composed the St. Paul initiative. They also did not allow for usual exemptions to rental price caps on new construction or newly vacant apartments.
Recent efforts have been made to redefine and reform rent control. This is an “anti-rent going” or “rent stabilization policy. It can stop unfair rent increases while also allowing for the creation of new housing. Oregon and California state lawmakers claim they have achieved this balance by enacting rent control laws which limit rent rises to 7 percent and 5 percent plus inflation. They also exempt new construction for 15 year and allow landlords to increase rents on empty apartments as they wish.
The St. Paul initiative does not make any of these allowances, and it will probably prove to be disastrous for the rental housing supply. Minneapolis could reverse all of the hard work that they have done to improve housing supply through repealing burdensome regulations on zoning.
- Minneapolis voters rejected also a ballot initiative to eliminate the police department and create a Department of Public Safety.
- Former New York City police officer and state senator Eric Adams, a Democrat, easily won the city’s mayoral election against Republican gadfly and Guardian Angel founder Curtis Sliwa.
- New Yorkers also rejected state referenda which would have permitted the legislature to approve bills allowing same-day voter registration as well as no-excuse absentee votes.
- Byron Brown, Buffalo’s incumbent mayor, New York appearsAs a write in candidate, I was able to win against India Walton (socialist Democratic primary winner).
The write-in vote is well ahead of 88% with 88% voting @IndiawaltonbfloYou can see the results of closely-observed Buffalo Mayor’s Race.@MayorByronBrownHe is now running an open-source campaign to write in after losing the primary. pic.twitter.com/BQl0hOb5MP
— Joseph Spector (@GannettAlbany) November 3, 2021
- Michelle Wu, city councilor of Boston was elected as the next mayor.
- Dark horse candidate (and Republican) Edward Durr might have unseated New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney.
This could be the story that makes the year’s political Cinderella. One conservative truck driver could be the next most powerful Democrat to come from NJ. He spent $153 bucks. He’s also a very nice person. https://t.co/OkpPpHuEs8
— Rich Zeoli ???????? (@Richzeoli) November 3, 2021