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Politics, Virginia

Glenn Youngkin on 2020: ‘I’ve consistently said that Joe Biden was legitimately elected’

Chris Graham

Glenn Youngkin, in 10 words on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, just ensured that he won’t be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, no matter what happens Tuesday night.

“I’ve consistently said that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president,” Youngkin told “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.

Guy just stepped on his own moneymaker there.

Youngkin is a day away from either being able to make an 11th-hour entry into the 2024 race, or slinking away in humbling defeat, a lame-duck governor with nowhere to go but away.

Yes, indeed, Youngkin’s presidential candidacy could very well end up being aborted – see what I did there? – by Democrats in the 2023 General Assembly elections.

Going in, Republicans have a 52-48 partisan edge in the House of Delegates, and Democrats have a 22-18 edge in the State Senate.

But that was in the old legislative districts. The new districts, the result of nonpartisan redistricting after the 2020 Census, have a slight Democratic lean.

Analysis from the Virginia Public Access Project gives Democrats a 50-40 edge in the House in safe districts – those that went five points or more in a partisan direction in the 2022 midterms – and a 21-16 edge in the Senate.

Republicans are hoping for redux of the 2021 voting pattern in the new districts. The VPAP analysis showed a slight 47-45 Republican lean in the House in the new districts in the 2021 cycle that elected Youngkin governor.

The 2021 voting pattern still had Democrats with a 19-18 edge in the Senate.

Even if things were to look tomorrow night more like 2021 than 2022, Republicans would still need to outduel Democrats in the toss-up races to win majorities in both the House and the Senate.

And that, friends, is what Youngkin needs to have happen to be able to make the case that he should be the GOP alternative to Donald Trump next year.

He needs both to be able to take his next step.

So, this – keeping Youngkin from a run at Trump, which of course would end up being utterly unsuccessful anyway, but still – is one of the stakes for Democrats in Tuesday’s elections.

Throw that in there with the abortion ban that you know is coming, no matter what he’s been trying to sell about 15 weeks, and more DeSantis-inspired nonsense about “woke”-ness, banning books and blaming society’s ills on trans college swimmers.

We do need to admire watching Youngkin trying to play coy on what’s more important to him in all of this, of course.

Stephanopoulos followed up his question to Youngkin on the legitimacy of the 2020 election with this one:

“Have you ruled out running for president in 2024, or is that still a possibility?”

“I’m a homegrown Virginian who 40 years ago was washing dishes and taking out trash. To even have my name tossed around, this is incredibly humbling. I’m excited about the fact that people are encouraged by what’s happening in Virginia,” Youngkin said, feigning humility.

“I’m campaigning across Virginia and focused on Virginia, not in New Hampshire, not in South Carolina and not in Nevada. I’m focused on Virginia, and that’s where my attention will continue to be.”

Until sometime around 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Then it’s either on 2024, or how fun it will be trying to get anything done the next two years with a Democratic General Assembly, as his political star flames into obscurity.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].