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Youngkin campaign thinks it’ll win Virginia governor race if it tops Trump numbers in key areas

The campaign for Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin believes the results in a handful of high-population areas that could decide which way the state falls in Tuesday’s election, and will be watching those returns closely after polls close 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Fox News is told the Youngkin campaign believes that if it improves on former President Donald Trump’s numbers by 5% in Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Virginia Beach and Richmond, it will have the votes it needs to win statewide. All of those are largely urban or suburban areas where Youngkin has tried to woo voters by distancing himself from Trump’s style of politics. 

Further, Loudoun County specifically is a hotbed of debate over parents’ role in schools and debates over critical race theory in classrooms. Youngkin centered his campaign on parents’ rights in schools and promised to ban critical race theory in schools. 

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin speaks during a campaign event in Old Town Alexandria’s Farmers Market in Alexandria, Virginia, October 30, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

The Youngkin campaign will be parsing returns for those indicators from its election night party in Chantilly, Virginia.


The campaign for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, meanwhile, will be looking through returns from its election night event in McLean, Virginia. It did not respond to a request for comment asking about what barometers it is looking for.

Another key indicator on the result of the election could be whether Youngkin is able to juice turnout in deep red rural counties. Many rural areas don’t have nearly the population of some more urban or suburban counties, but big margins for Youngkin there could make up for McAuliffe numbers elsewhere. But low rural turnout could leave Youngkin behind the eight ball. 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, left, speaks to supporters as Attorney Gen. Mark Herring, center, and Lt. Gov. candidate Hala Ayala, right, cheer during a rally as running mates, in Richmond, Va., Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Further, Northamptom County and Prince Edward County are two bellwether counties to watch – they’ve each aligned with the statewide winner in the past 10 Virginia gubernatorial elections.

The result of this race could have far-reaching consequences on politics nationwide. 

It would be a major blow to President Biden and could cause some Democrats to be reluctant to associate themselves with the president – whether in 2022 campaign events or by taking a tough vote on the Biden-backed reconciliation spending bill in Congress. 

Many observers believe the Virginia gubernatorial election is a referendum on President Biden, and could provide Republicans a blueprint for 2022 if GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin wins. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Many observers believe the Virginia gubernatorial election is a referendum on President Biden, and could provide Republicans a blueprint for 2022 if GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin wins. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


A McAuliffe loss may also provide Republicans with a playbook for how to win midterm elections in moderate states and districts like Virginia. 

Fox News’ Rémy Numa and Stephen Goin contributed to this report.

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