Back To the Patrick Henry Building

Governor Glenn Youngkin presents Derek Schmidt, candidate for Kansas governor, with a red vest. Photo credit: Kansas City Star

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Governor Glenn Youngkin spent late summer and the fall campaigning around the country for Republican candidates for governor. He was passing out his signature red fleece vests all over the country.

His main goal was to help Republican candidates knock off Democratic incumbents, but he did appear with three incumbent Republican  governors. So, what was his record?

The three incumbents, Kemp (Georgia), Noem (South Dakota), and Stitt (Oklahoma) won, capturing from 53.4% to 62% of the votes.

In one race in which the seat was open: super-red Nebraska. Youngkin appeared in a campaign event for Jim Pillen, the Republican candidate who won with 59.9% of the vote.

In two more competitive open seats, Youngkin’s Republicans lost: Arizona, where Kari Lake got 49.7%,  and Oregon, where Christine Drazan got 43.6% in a three-way race.

In the races that presented the greatest test, those with Democratic incumbents, the results were the following (showing name of state, name of candidate, result for Republican candidate, percentage of vote):

  • Colorado, Heidi Ganahi, lost, 39.2%
  • Connecticut, Bob Stefanowski, lost, 43.1%
  • Kansas, Derek Schmidt, lost, 47.3%
  • Maine, Paul LePage lost, 41.9%
  • Michigan, Tudor Dixon, lost, 43.9%
  • Nevada, Joe Lombardo, won, 48.8%
  • New Mexico, Mark Ronchetti, lost, 45.6%
  • New York, Lee Zeldin, lost, 47.1%
  • Wisconsin, Tim Michels, lost, 47.8%

Summary: Of the 11 competitive gubernatorial races in which Youngkin made a campaign appearance for the Republican candidate, the Republican candidate was victorious in only one (Nevada). That is a batting average of .090.

Some observers, including the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato, asserted that the poor showing of the candidates for whom Younkin made appearances undercuts the national hype that followed his election in a state in which Democrats had dominated several election cycles. “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 zero percent in the presidential polls, and his bandwagon has barely moved,”  Sabato commented.

On the other hand, Republicans emphasized the contributions that Youngkin had made in “very tough states, blue states, and in very tough races” in which he injected “excitement” and “kitchen table issues.”

Now, it is back to less exciting tasks such as putting the finishing touches on a budget that was being developed while he was off campaigning and then dealing with the General Assembly.

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19 responses to “Back To the Patrick Henry Building”

  1. Fleece may be a bad choice since it means to swindle. Just saying.

    Go Youngkin!

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      He worked for Carlyle… fleece is the perfert word for what they did to nursing homes and the old people in them.

  2. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    So as I write this, I’m watching “See No Evil”, one of those cop shows with cctv videos used to solve murders. In this particular episode a woman is being forced to take money from 4 or 5 ATMs before she was murdered.

    Ya know, every ATM card should have TWO PINs. One is the usual needed for ID and completes the transaction. The other summons police and slows the transaction.

    1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
      Kathleen Smith

      Great idea.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    Well, as they say, the honeymoon is over and now Youngkin will have to “earn” his success the old fashioned way…

    He’s not the CEO of Virginia and hopefully he’s figured that out by now.

    He really can’t get much done in the GA if he doesn’t at least try for some compromises. He’s not going to dictate from on high, The GA does not fear him like other spineless GOP fear Trump.

    He’s really made a mess of his interactions with VDOE and K-12 and Higher Ed…. He’s essentially created his own version of “deep state”, i.e. folks that are NOT on his side.

  4. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    He has much of work ahead of him. This is an essential year for any Governor of Virginia. If it isn’t done it Year 2, it won’t be done.

  5. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Youngkin’s presence in those states didn’t move the needle a tenth of a point in either direction. But people putting on campaign events are like the poor souls putting on Rotary meetings and need fresh speakers. Youngkin was a new face and an R who won in a presumed blue state. And he would travel. Given it was probably by private plane (or at least biz class), he had plenty of chance to work on his phone and computer while making the trips. Nothing here to see….

    Yes, no mulligans in the second session.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I don’t disagree……

    2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      The bridge is out in the state Senate. The blue team sticks together like ticks on a hound. Better luck maybe in January of 2024.

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Good work Dick. Nice of you to “do the math” for the rest of the BR group. After all, they went to UVa.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      That’s actionable. Take it back.

  7. vicnicholls Avatar

    and the purpose of this article is, outside of slamming a Gov you don’t like? I don’t know R’s that follow Youngkin like some of you D’s do. The man has to sign off on bills and that doesn’t happen until around Feb. this year.

  8. DJRippert Avatar

    Larry Sabato’s 15 minutes of fame ended years ago. However, hope springs eternal in the liberal heart. Sabato now infers that Youngkin is running for president. As far as I know, Gov. Younking has made no such announcement. Larry Sabato’s crystal ball has long been cloudy and the aging professor now seeks relevance by making statements about Youngkin.

    Maybe Youngkin feels that the Republicans had supported him so he decided to return the favor.

    Meanwhile, we all wait with baited breath as the senile man in the Oval Office decides if he will run again in 2024.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I agree that Sabato is not a conservative or Republican but I think he’s right about Youngkin and we’re gonna find out soon when
      the business of the State is in front of him.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        We will find out early next year when everybody running for president declares their intent.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          He has the potential to make significant changes to Virginia even as a one-term Governor – if that is what he actually intends. And that includes things I’d not support but he has that ability if he wants to pursue it.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Oh… I think you underestimate the fleecy man…

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        We’ll see pretty soon. Given that he can’t run for re-election as Governor in 2025, maybe you’re right.

        I hope not.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Me too. He’s the dictionary picture of the Peter Principle.

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