Gowdy: Republicans must focus on the ‘why’ to replicate Youngkin’s victory in 2022

If Republicans want more victories like Glenn Youngkin’s in Virginia’s gubernatorial election, the party must learn to coalesce around issues relevant to voters and avoid fixating on things “voters care nothing about,” Fox News host Trey Gowdy said Sunday.

Youngkin, a first-time candidate who hails from the business wing of the Republican Party, narrowly defeated former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a statewide contest with significant national implications.

Supporters of Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin react as Fox News declares Youngkin has won his race against Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe and Youngkin will be the next Governor of Virginia during an election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.

Supporters of Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin react as Fox News declares Youngkin has won his race against Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe and Youngkin will be the next Governor of Virginia during an election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.
(REUTERS/ Elizabeth Frantz)

Tuesday’s election in Virginia, a one-time battleground but still competitive state, is seen as a key barometer ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans aim to win back control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, where the Democrats hold razor-thin majorities.

GOP SEES YOUNGKIN’S VICTORY AS BLUEPRINT TO WIN BACK CONGRESS IN 2022

Gowdy, on “Sunday Night in America” emphasized Youngkin’s ability to flip a typically blue state red, noting that “a double-digit political deficit in less than 12 months is rare.”

But, he said, Republicans take note of the “why. Why did Glenn Youngkin win and why did Winsome Sears win. What issues did they run on? And can those issues be used in other races? What was their tone and demeanor?” he asked.

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin tosses a signed basketball to supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin tosses a signed basketball to supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“To understand elections, we must focus on the why. Why did Republicans win? Why did the state go from Biden to Glenn Youngkin in less than a year? Was it a repudiation on the left, an embrace on the right, or something else?” the host continued.

Youngkin’s emphasis on tapping into the anger of parents over decisions by their local school boards is largely regarded as a blueprint of how to run campaigns in next year’s elections.

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Gowdy said that if Republicans could “coalesce around the why and avoid talking about issues that voters care nothing about, there may be more victories next fall. 

“Be mindful of the what, be mindful of the who,” he said, “but focus on the why.”

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