Arlington, US, Nov 3 (EFE).- In a blow for United States president Joe Biden on Tuesday, a Republican won the election for Virginia governor and another was fighting for victory in New Jersey.
After midnight, the main television networks of the country declared Republican Glenn Youngkin, a businessman with no political experience, as the winner in Virginia, beating out Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who ruled the state between 2014 and 2018.
The elections in Virginia and New Jersey represent a referendum on the first months of Biden’s government and take the temperature of Americans ahead of next year’s legislative elections, in which the Democrats fear losing their majorities in both chambers of Congress.
At an election event in Chantilly, Youngkin took the stage as the audience shouted his name, and to the beat of the song “Spirit in the Sky,” he danced and clapped to celebrate the first Republican victory for the Virginia governorate since 2009.
“Alrighty, Virginia. We won this thing,” Youngkin, 54, said as the audience cheered.
Youngkin won 50.7 percent and more than 1,677,000 votes, while McAuliffe followed with 48.6 percent (more than 1,610,000 votes), according to US media.
He made parental influence in schools a central focus of his campaign, portraying himself as a father concerned about the education of children, criticized the closure of schools during the pandemic and promised to ban critical race theory – a broad set of ideas about systemic bias and privilege – from schools.
McAuliffe, a centrist figure who has been in the Democratic Party for decades, has yet to acknowledge defeat.
Meanwhile, there is still no clear winner in New Jersey, where Republican Jack Ciattarelli holds 49.7 percent of the votes, and Democratic candidate Phil Murphy holds 49.6 percent with 87 percent of the votes counted.
New Jersey is the state in which Murphy was elected for the first time in 2017 by a 14-point margin and in which Biden beat Trump by 16 points a year ago. In addition, all the polls gave a comfortable victory to the Democrat.
In any case, the margins in both New Jersey and Virginia denote a significant momentum of the Republican grassroots in parallel to the frustration of Democrats after 10 months of Biden in power.
While TV networks announced the results, Biden landed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, on the outskirts of Washington.
He did not speak to the press but, hours earlier at a press conference at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, the president had been confident of a Democratic victory in both states. EFE