The morning after Virginia Republicans lost the majority in both chambers, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signaled that he would not run for president in 2024.
“I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”
During Wednesday’s press conference, Youngkin was repeatedly asked if he would still consider running in 2024, to which he answered that he is focused on governing alongside Democrats to get results for Virginians.
Democrats, meanwhile, called Youngkin a “lame duck” governor.
“The stakes for preventing this GOP Trifecta were incredibly high. And fortunately, voters agreed, and Democrats delivered big wins. Make no mistake about it, this is a loss for Governor Youngkin,” Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Interim President Heather Williams said during a virtual post-election press conference Wednesday.
In the run-up to Nov. 7, Democrats ran election ads calling Republicans extremists. One of the ads told Virginians that Youngkin and Republicans were working to take away their rights, including a plan to completely ban abortion.
A GOP Trifecta would have allowed Youngkin to use his “unchecked powers to pass an abortion ban, undermine voting rights, and set Virginia back decades,” said Williams.
Youngkin, meanwhile, stressed the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together to find common ground on issues like abortion, despite the differences.
“Abortion is potentially one of the most difficult topics in Virginia and the nation,” Youngkin said, adding: “I do believe there is a place we can come together, common ground. This is difficult. I’m hopeful that the dialogue we’ve started can continue.”
“I think they know that in a state that is so purple, that we do debate. We do argue, but they expect us to find common ground on these most important topics and to press forward,” Youngkin told reporters. “This is just another statement of where Virginia is and why it’s such a bellwether for what’s going on across the nation.”
Youngkin also said he is “disappointed” with the outcomes but knew the elections would come down to “razor thin” margins in key districts.
“It is clear we did not meet our goals. At this time, it appears that Republicans will win 49 seats in the House and 19 seats in the Senate, a one-seat pickup,” Dave Rexrode Youngkin’s PAC, Spirit of Virginia’s Chairman wrote in a November 7 memo.
Rexrode said redistricting and outspending contributed to the difficulties in swing districts, but despite the challenges, Republicans still won in 13 districts Biden and seven districts Congressional Democrats won a few years earlier.