Republican Glenn Youngkin mobilized voters concerned about education and race, while making small gains with suburban voters and other key groups to help his party rebound from Donald Trump’s poor showing in Virginia last year and win the governor’s race.
The former private equity executive’s victory came even as Trump remains broadly unpopular in the commonwealth.
Youngkin managed to keep Trump at arm’s length without angering Trump’s base. A year after Democrat Joe Biden dispatched Trump in Virginia by 10 percentage points, it was Youngkin’s supporters, not Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s, who were more fired up — 74% of them said they were “extremely” interested in the election, compared with 63% who voted for McAuliffe. That’s according to AP VoteCast, a survey of voters.
Both Democrats and Republicans pulled together familiar coalitions. Men, rural and small town voters and white evangelicals were squarely in Youngkin’s corner, while McAuliffe was the choice for Black voters, moderates, and voters under 45. Women were only slightly more likely to back the Democrat than the Republican, 53% to 46%.
But small shifts added up to make a difference. In 2020, voters ages 45 and older split about evenly between Biden and Trump. This year they were more likely to back Youngkin over McAuliffe, 55% to 45%.
Youngkin also performed better with suburban voters, a group that helped Democrats win elections across the country during the Trump era.
MORE ON ELECTION 2021:
— The Virginia governor's race emerges as a test of how voters feel about Joe Biden’s presidency
— Key takeaways from the elections in Virginia and New Jersey
— Republican Glenn Youngkin makes slight gains with some key voter groups when compared with former President Donald Trump in his 2020 loss
— School board races become the new front in a culture war as resentments over coronavirus restrictions and anti-racism curriculum reach a boiling point
— Elections are held for three open congressional seats in Ohio and Florida
— Voters in Minneapolis reject a proposal to replace the police department after the death of George Floyd
— Mayoral races are huge milestones for Asian Americans
— Election officials deliver a relatively smooth Election Day after a year of dealing with false claims and death threats
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
NEW YORK — Republican former U.S. Rep. Vito Fossella has been elected Staten Island borough president.
Fossella left Congress over a decade ago after a scandal. It involved a drunken driving arrest and revelations he had a secret second family.
He defeated Democrat Mark S. Murphy in the election Tuesday and is making his first return to elected office since he left in 2009. He was once seen as a potential candidate for New York City mayor, but his political career cratered after the revelations about his personal life. Fossella was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in the primary.
STAMFORD, Conn. — Democratic state Rep. Caroline Simmons has been elected mayor of Stamford, Connecticut.
She defeated former Major League Baseball manager and player Bobby Valentine, who conceded defeat in a speech to his supporters.
Simmons will be the first woman to serve as mayor of Stamford, the state’s second-largest city. The 35-year-old legislator had defeated the two-term incumbent Democratic mayor in a September primary.
She touted her experience in both state and federal government and argued she was better suited for the job than her celebrity opponent. The election Tuesday was the first political campaign for Valentine, a 71-year-old former Republican who ran as an unaffiliated candidate.
RICHMOND, Va. — Republican former business executive Glenn Youngkin has won Virginia’s governor’s race, a major political turnabout in a state that had been trending increasingly blue.
The win is sure to alarm national Democrats already nervous about holding their party’s narrow control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections.
The 54-year-old Youngkin is a political newcomer and was a virtual unknown at the start of the race. He beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018.
President Joe Biden won Virginia by a comfortable 10 percentage points last year, but that disappeared as Youngkin beat back the Democrats’ efforts to portray him as a clone of former President Donald Trump.
PORTLAND, Maine — Maine voters passed the nation’s first “right to food” constitutional amendment.
A statewide referendum asked voters on Tuesday if they favored an amendment to the Maine Constitution to declare that all individuals have an inherent right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing.
Supporters said the amendment would ensure the right to grow vegetables and raise livestock in an era when corporatization threatens local ownership of the food supply.
Mainers on Tuesday also voted against building a 145-mile conduit for Canadian hydropower. The project was billed as either a bold step in battling climate change or unnecessary destruction of woodlands. But Tuesday's vote won’t be the final word as litigation over the project continues.
DEARBORN, Mich. — A state lawmaker has won the mayoral race in Dearborn, Michigan, making him the city’s first Arab American mayor.
A final unofficial vote count on the city’s website shows Abdullah Hammoud defeated Gary Woronchak, a former state representative and former Wayne County commissioner, by a 55% to 45% margin in Tuesday’s election.
Hammoud, who is Muslim, is serving his third term in the Michigan House. His parents immigrated to the United States from Lebanon.
Dearborn is a city of over 100,000 people and has one of the largest Arab American populations in the nation. But the city’s past includes efforts by longtime segregationist Mayor Orville Hubbard to keep Black families from moving into the then-mostly white community.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The mayor of New York’s second-largest city has declared victory in his write-in campaign as early results showed him with a possible lead over the democratic socialist who beat him in the Democratic primary.
Tuesday’s election between Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and challenger India Walton remained too early to call, and in fact it was unknown how many people had voted for Brown because his name didn’t appear on the ballot.
Early returns showed Walton trailing the number of write-in votes cast. But a full tabulation of those write-in votes won’t begin for days. Thousands of absentee ballots also have yet to be counted. Walton says she is proud of the race she has run and is waiting for a full count.
BOSTON — Boston voters for the first time elected a woman and an Asian American as mayor, tapping City Councilor Michelle Wu to serve in the city’s top political office.
Throughout its long history, Boston had previously only elected white men as mayor.
Wu defeated fellow Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George on Tuesday. The two Democrats faced off against each other after defeating several other mayoral hopefuls in a September preliminary election.
The election of Wu, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan, marks another break from tradition in Boston. Wu grew up in Chicago, only moving to Boston to attend Harvard University and Harvard Law School. Boston typically elects mayors with lifelong Boston roots.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Longtime coal lobbyist Mike Carey held an open U.S. House seat in central Ohio for Republicans in Tuesday’s special congressional election.
Carey defeated two-term Democratic state Rep. Allison Russo, a public health policy consultant, in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. Russo had raised more money in the district than any Democrat in history.
Former President Donald Trump had endorsed Carey to succeed veteran U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, a centrist Republican who resigned in April to become CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Trump called Carey a “courageous fighter” and visited the state to campaign for him, as did former Vice President Mike Pence.
Carey has been vice president of government affairs for American Consolidated Natural Resources, formerly Murray Energy, since 2012. He also chairs the board of the Ohio Coal Association.
Murray was among corporate contributors involved in an elaborate $60 million bribery-for-legislation scheme alleged by federal prosecutors. The coal giant has not been charged with a crime. The investigation is ongoing.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis voters have rejected a proposal to replace the city’s police department with a new Department of Public Safety — an idea that arose from the May 2020 death of George Floyd under an officer’s knee.
The initiative would have changed the city charter to remove a requirement that the city have a police department with a minimum number of officers.
Supporters of the proposal said a complete overhaul of policing was necessary to stop police violence.
Opponents said the proposal had no concrete plan for how to move forward and could make communities already affected by violence more vulnerable as crime is on the rise.
DETROIT — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has easily defeated attorney Anthony Adams to win a third four-year term leading the Motor City.
Duggan was the clear favorite to win Tuesday’s election after first winning in 2013 and taking over in January 2014. That was just after the city emerged from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Duggan had won more than 72% of the votes in the August primary, in which the top two vote-getters in the nonpartisan primary moved on to the general election.
Adams was a former deputy mayor in the early to mid-2000s under Kwame Kilpatrick.
A year after Donald Trump lost Virginia by 10 percentage points, Republican Glenn Youngkin is in a tight race for governor against Democrat Terry McAuliffe thanks to shifting support from some key voter groups.
Youngkin has made slight gains with suburbanites, voters 45 and older and voters in households earning $50,000 or less when compared with Trump in his 2020 loss to Democrat Joe Biden. That’s according to AP VoteCast, a survey of voters.
Both Democrats and Republicans pulled together familiar coalitions. McAuliffe is the clear choice of voters under 45, women, Black voters, moderates and college graduates, while men, rural and small town voters and white evangelicals are squarely in Youngkin’s corner.
But small shifts with other groups could make a big difference. Tuesday’s race is tighter than originally expected, sparking concern among Democrats and potentially giving Republicans a playbook for competitive battlegrounds as they look to the 2022 midterm elections.
NEW YORK — Alvin Bragg has been elected Manhattan’s first Black district attorney.
The 48-year-old Democrat easily defeated Republican Thomas Kenniff on Tuesday to join a wave of progressive, reform-minded prosecutors in several big U.S cities.
When Bragg takes office in January, he’ll inherit an ongoing investigation of former President Donald Trump. Manhattan prosecutors this year charged Trump’s company and its longtime finance chief with tax fraud.
Bragg campaigned partly on a promise to change the culture of the district attorney’s office. He said he wants to “shrink the system” and look for alternatives to prosecuting small “crimes of poverty.”
NEW YORK — Democrat Eric Adams has been elected New York City mayor after handily defeating Republican Curtis Sliwa.
Adams is the Brooklyn borough president and a former New York City police captain. He will become the city’s second Black mayor and must steer the damaged metropolis through its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Adams’ victory Tuesday seemed all but assured after he emerged as the winner from a crowded Democratic primary this summer in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 7 to 1.
Sliwa is the founder of the Guardian Angels anti-crime patrol. He ran a campaign punctuated by stunts and his signature red beret.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Democrat Shontel Brown won the Cleveland-area U.S. House seat formerly held by Biden Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge in Tuesday’s special election.
Brown is a Cuyahoga County Council member who also chairs the county Democratic Party. She defeated Republican Laverne Gore, a business owner and activist, in the 11th Congressional District. The district is a heavily Democratic area that stretches from Cleveland to Akron.
Brown will fill the remainder of Fudge’s term, which runs until January 2023, facing reelection again next year to hold the seat.
Her election marks a win for establishment Democrats, who sought to defend the district against a takeover by progressives. Her backers included Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn and several labor unions.
But victory may be short-lived. Already, Brown’s defeated primary opponent, progressive Nina Turner, has begun campaigning for the full congressional term up for grabs in 2022.
Republican Glenn Youngkin did his best to keep former President Donald Trump at arm’s length in his competitive race for Virginia governor against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The strategy appears to have had the intended effect.
A majority of Virginia voters say they have an unfavorable view of the former president, but Youngkin fares better, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of voters. About half have a favorable opinion of the former private equity executive.
The economy ranked as the top issue facing the commonwealth, with the coronavirus pandemic and education trailing, and voters were split in their opinion of President Joe Biden’s performance.
Tuesday’s election is the most closely watched contest since Biden defeated Trump last year. It is widely seen as a gauge of how voters are feeling ahead of next year’s midterm elections, and for both parties it could provide a blueprint for campaigning in competitive states.
Biden won Virginia by 10 percentage points last year. Now, 48% of Virginia’s voters approve of Biden’s job performance, while 52% disapprove.
Voters who ranked the economy and education as the top issues were more likely to back Youngkin over McAuliffe. Voters who identified COVID-19 as the top issue supported McAuliffe over Youngkin. McAuliffe also earned the majority backing of the roughly 2 in 10 who ranked health care, climate change or racism as the top issue.
Voters casting ballots in the tight race for Virginia governor rank the economy as the top issue facing the commonwealth, with the coronavirus pandemic and education trailing.
In the contest between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, 34% of Virginia voters say the economy and jobs was the most important issue facing the state. Seventeen percent name COVID-19 and 14% choose education. That’s according to AP VoteCast, a survey of voters.
Health care (7%), climate change (7%), racism (5%), immigration (5%), abortion (5%) and law enforcement (4%) were all lower-tier issues.
The race is the most closely watched and competitive contest since Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump last year, and is seen as a gauge of voters’ feelings ahead of next year’s midterms.
Youngkin, a former private equity executive, often asserted Virginia’s economy was “in the ditch,” but a majority of voters disagreed. Fifty-six percent said the state’s economy is in good shape, compared with 44% saying economic conditions are poor.
Schools became a focus of the race in its final weeks. A quarter of Virginia voters say the debate over teaching critical race theory in schools was the single most important factor in their vote for governor, but a similar percentage identified the debate over handling COVID-19 in schools as most important.