The lessons Republicans and Democrats learned from Decision 2021, according to analysts

The notion that Virginia is a Democratic stronghold is now gone

The notion that Virginia is a Democratic stronghold is now gone.

MCLEAN, Va. – After an eight-year Democratic stay in the governor’s mansion and two-year full control of the General Assembly, voters have flipped Virginia red.

Republicans won a clean sweep of major positions in Virginia election night 2021 (Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General [based on projections as final tallies are completed]) and took control of the House of Delegates. The Democrats remain in control of the state senate.

Political analysts say actions by Democrats will be lessons learned by Republicans moving forward.

“What was happening last night was more than just tapping on the brakes but stomping on the brakes as far as that progressive agenda is concerned here in Virginia,” opined 10 News political analyst Dr. Ed Lynch.

There were two candidates who ran two completely different campaigns.

“Voters spoke up loud and clear,” said 6th District Representative Ben Cline. “They are rejecting the Biden Administrations’ agenda.”

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin spent much of his campaign focusing on statewide issues, which Rep. Cline says carried him to victory.

“Glenn Youngkin listened to the people and he is going to govern on behalf of them when it comes to education, parent involvement in schools, keeping taxes low and being a welcoming place for business. Terry McAuliffe was just interested in doing the Biden agenda,” said Rep. Cline.

“It is harder and harder when everything is nationalized,” stated Virginia Senator Mark Warner.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe campaigned by attacking any ties the Youngkin campaign had to former President Donald Trump. While Youngkin did not campaign with Trump in person or ever at the same event, McAuliffe did a campaign with President Joe Biden.

An NBC News exit poll shows that 45% of Virginian voters polled agree with President Biden’s leadership while 54% do not.

Sen. Warner admits the actions in Washington D.C. impacted McAuliffe’s campaign, specifically the struggling infrastructure bill.

“The House should have passed it two months ago. I do think the failure to pass that and some of the sausage-making that’s been involved,” said Sen. Warner.

“Republicans learned that they don’t need Trump in order to win,” said Dr. Lynch. “They also learned they don’t have to be afraid to be linked to Donald Trump.”

McAuliffe released a statement that reads in part, “We must protect our democracy. While there will be setbacks along the way, I am confident that the long-term path of Virginia is toward inclusion, openness and tolerance for all.”

Click here to read his full statement.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.