On Tuesday, Republican candidates in Virginia lost the Senate and the House of Delegates to Democrats by razor-thin margins. Although Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin spent months campaigning for his party’s candidates, the Democrats narrowly won control of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate.
Although Youngkin did well in fundraising, the Democrats enjoyed a substantial money advantage. The left’s pro-abortion message also resonated. In response to the Republicans’ strident TV ads on abortion, Democrats demonstrated that the Republican position was radical and that the Democrats’ position was one of moderation.
To support Republican candidates, legislative caucuses, and the state party, Spirit of Virginia PAC raised almost $18 million this year. The Republican State Leadership Committee also spent nearly $5 million in the state. The Democrat Party has raised $76.5 million this year, while the Republican Party has raised only $50.3 million. According to the Spirit of Virginia document, the Democratic candidates also spent more than the Republican candidates on television advertisements by a margin of $7.5 million.
The election garnered national attention from Democrats, particularly the Democratic National Committee (RNC), who spent $1.5 million on the contests primarily at President Joe Biden’s behest. Another $2 million came from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, while another $250,000 came from a nonprofit associated with Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) spent millions on the Virginia gubernatorial election, but the Republican National Committee (RNC) was criticized for not investing in the state’s election. Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, responded to the criticism on Wednesday night in Miami, Florida, saying that Youngkin’s team had rejected their assistance and laid the blame for their defeat at the feet of the GOP’s rhetoric on abortion.
Republican defeats were blamed by state operatives on the abortion issue and financial gaps between the two parties; some also cited the Democrats’ rhetoric on former President Trump. Most Republican candidates followed Youngkin’s lead and advocated for a 15-week ban, with exceptions made in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.