On Tuesday, gubernatorial elections were held in New Jersey and Virginia. Just last year, both states voted for Joe Biden over Donald Trump by more than 10 points.
It was much tougher sledding for Democrats this year. Glenn Youngkin, the GOP candidate, won in Virginia. Phil Murphy is likely to win in New Jersey, but by a very small margin.
Trump was quick to take credit for Youngkin’s win, but it is clear that the new Virginia governor won by separating himself from the former president. On Wednesday, the Morning Joe panel said these results prove that Trump is a electoral drag on the party.
Joe Scarborough began, “Can you believe the split between Youngkin and Trump? Youngkin plus-13 over Trump. I said early on in passing, last night was a very bad night for Donald Trump. A guy who kept him in a locked box, he has favorability plus-13 over Trump. People are saying, we have to keep Trump in Mar-A-Lago behind the gates. When he stays away, we can get the coalition back.”
John Heilemann felt that Youngkin had set a non-Trump focused plan for Republicans to win upcoming races. He told viewers:
“In a situation where Youngkin was trying to take an issue, education, which, in my experience, had never been the No. 2 issue in a statewide race, never seen that before. As soon as that came out from the exit poll, before they started doing numbers, I was like, Terry’s in trouble, McAuliffe is in trouble. Youngkin spent six months trying to make that issue central and was taking the anger and resentment, some of it’s white grievance, some of it’s fear, some of it’s economic anxiety — they’re mad at Joe Biden, white suburban parents, vaccine mandates, there are a lot of angry parents, and Youngkin found that.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.