Trump takes credit for GOP win in Virginia


Former President Donald Trump is claiming kingmaker status, contending that Republican Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia governor’s race last week because of him and his supporters.

Mr. Trump was largely absent on the trail in Virginia when Mr. Youngkin, an investment banker and political newcomer, campaigned and eventually won the governor’s election last week, but The New York Times reported that the former president bragged that Mr. Youngkin would have lost if the Trump MAGA base did not turn out in the commonwealth to vote for him.

Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Youngkin after the former Carlyle Group CEO was nominated by Virginia Republicans back in May during the party’s assembled convention.

While Mr. Trump was never seen with the candidate, Mr. Youngkin accepted his endorsement and stated on the debate stage he would support the 45th president if the Republican Party nominated him to be their standard-bearer again in 2024.

Virginia’s suburban voters in Northern Virginia abandoned the GOP in massive numbers in 2018 and 2020 during Mr. Trump’s time in office, causing the Republican Party of Virginia to alter its strategy this cycle.

Democrat Joseph R. Biden carried the commonwealth by a 1o percentage point margin over Mr. Trump during the 2020 election cycle, but Mr. Youngkin defeated his Democratic opponent, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, by about two points, despite Mr. McAuliffe’s attempts to link Mr. Trump to Mr. Youngkin. Political strategists say Republicans did a masterful job of reaching out to swing voters who have trended Democratic in recent years without driving away enthusiastic Trump voters who helped swell turnout in GOP-leaning parts of the state.

During his remarks in Tampa, Florida, Mr. Trump also went after the 13 House Republicans who voted for President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, providing critical votes for its passage.

“No thank you goes to the Republicans who voted for the bill,” he said.

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