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The political media’s sweaty attempts to make Glenn Yongkin a major thing died last night, making this a particularly pleasant read a day later:

 Gov. Glenn Youngkin isn’t on the ballot this year, but his push for a new conservative direction for the Republican Party is.

Tuesday night’s results of Virginia’s legislative elections will be viewed, for better or for worse, as a referendum on Youngkin’s non-MAGA brand of conservative politics and the state House of delegates and state Senate candidates who subscribe to it. He’s made sure of it. Youngkin – elected two years ago in a state that has swung blue in the last four presidential cycles – is hoping to flip the state Senate and hold control of the House of delegates, and has endorsed in key primaries, spent weeks campaigning with Republicans across the commonwealth, urged his party’s voters to cast their ballots early and raised millions to help compete with Democratic fundraising.

All 140 seats in the Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House of Delegates are up for election, and candidates are running on new maps following a dramatic redistricting cycle.

What exactly is this “non-MAGA brand of politics”?

Youngkin’s political apparatus took advantage of Virginia’s loose campaign finance laws to work closely with campaigns to advise on message, spending and campaign operations, the source said. On abortion, Youngkin’s team shared their messaging, which has been to argue that a 15-week limit with exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother is a consensus opinion. His team also discouraged campaigns from denying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“We’re fighting some tough fights on messaging and as a party trying to navigate the waters on certain issues,” said Taylor Keeney, a former press secretary for Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. “But Youngkin’s positioned himself and positioned our party here in Virginia in the right spot, especially when you’re looking at issues like abortion.”


The biggest contribution – about $1.3 million – has gone to state Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, an OB-GYN running for reelection in a competitive district outside Richmond. Dunnavant has backed Youngkin’s 15-week limit, rejecting Democrats’ characterization of it as a ban.

So what makes a completely standard-issue contemporary Republican reactionary like Youngkin non-MAGA is 1)not supporting literal attempted autogolpes, and 2)intelligence-insulating arguments that abortion bans aren’t bans. Feel the moderation!

Speaking Lyin’ Shiv, I have some excellent news:

Democrat Schuyler VanValkenburg has defeated Republican Siobhan Dunnavant in Virginia’s state Senate District 16 race, according to The Associated Press.

Del. VanValkenburg (Henrico), a state delegate since 2018, has flipped one Republican seat in a state Senate that saw districts shift after redistricting. The race between VanValkenburg and Dunnavant was one of Virginia’s most watched and most expensive.

“Dunnavant rejected the characterization of his opponent winning more votes as losing.”

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