Republicans won a stunning victory in Virginia last night as GOP newcomer Glenn Youngkin upset Democrat Terry McAuliffe to win the governor's seat. Youngkin won 50.7% of the vote and Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe won 48.6%, according to AP. McAuliffe conceded Wednesday morning.
Republicans swept all the major races in the state from Governor to Attorney General, so this election is being seen as a major upset against the Democrats. Virginia had been trending blue for more than a decade, and it voted solidly for Joe Biden by 10 points just one year ago.
“This is the spirit of Virginia coming together like never before,” Youngkin told supporters in a hotel ballroom in Chantilly. He promised to lead with “a vision where Virginians’ power, the power that has historically resided in the marble halls in Richmond is spread out, spread out into the kitchen tables that are held together with the bond and the spirit of liberty and freedom.”
McAuliffe led the race for months, but Youngkin gained the momentum in the last few weeks and even took the lead in polls heading into Election Day over the issue of parental rights and public schools.
What It Tells Us About 2022 Congressional Elections
The outcome of this race is widely seen as a referendum on Biden's presidency, and one reason political analysts have so closely watched Virginia is that it could serve as a predictor for next year's congressional elections.
Pollster Frank Luntz tweeted recently, "Is Virginia a national electoral bellwether? Absolutely yes. Control of the U.S. House has only changed hands four times in the past 50 years – and the party that won the Virginia governor's race the year before won the House majority all four times."
GOP Sweeps Virginia, Including House of Delegates
Among the other big races in Virginia on Tuesday, in the contest for Lieutenant Governor, Republican Winsome Sears defeated Democrat Haya Ayala making Winsome the first Black female Lieutenant Governor in the state.
In the battle for Attorney General between Republican Jason Miyares and Democrat incumbent Mark Herring, Miyares claimed victory as Virginia's first Latino Attorney General.
In the House of Delegates, Republicans are claiming victory in another upset for Democrats.
House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert said, "Virginia voters made an historic statement, delivering a clear rebuke of the failed policies of the last two years and electing Republicans up and down the ballot."
"In addition to electing Glenn Youngkin, Winsome Sears, and Jason Miyares, voters have given Republicans a majority in the House of Delegates. We have clearly won six seats previously held by Democrats," he continued. "We are grateful to Virginians who place their trust in us, and we look forward to immediately going to work with Governor-elect Youngkin and his administration to restore fiscal order, give parents the voice they deserve in education, and keep our Commonwealth safe."
The Virginia Senate wasn't up for a vote this year.
You can view LIVE results for Virginia's top contests HERE on our Election Page.
Youngkin, a political newcomer and businessman, cast himself as an outsider with a focus on the economy and education. He's vowing to stand up for parents alarmed about left-wing school curricula and he's pledging to ban what critics call "critical race theory." He says a positive campaign of conservative ideals will help him win because Virginians want change.
McAuliffe, who won his first Virginia gubernatorial term in 2013, largely focused on fighting COVID, vaccine mandates, and unsuccessfully tried to tie Youngkin's agenda to former President Trump.
Analysts noted McAuliffe's slipping lead, which came at the same time President Biden's approval rating plunged. Polls showed Youngkin with the advantage with the all-important independent voters. He also led in the enthusiasm gap over McAuliffe's campaign. Youngkin is endorsed by Donald Trump, but he went solo on the campaign trail, focusing on the critical D.C. suburbs of northern Virginia.
CBN News LIVE Election Coverage
For Election Night, CBN News provided LIVE coverage starting at 8 PM. Our election team of political analysts kept viewers up to date: CBN's Jenna Browder, Dan Andros, David Brody, Heather Sells, Tara Mergener, and Julie Manchester from The Hill.
BELOW: Watch our Special Election Coverage from Tuesday Evening
CLICK HERE to see election results from every race for the House of Delegates in the state of Virginia tonight.
CLICK HERE to see LIVE results on the executive races on our interactive maps.