Democrats suffered a wave of losses in Virginia last night, but none more devastating than in the Commonwealth's gubernatorial race, where far-right Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Throughout the race, Youngkin embraced far-right hysteria over critical race theory and COVID-19 protocols in schools. His supporters even pledged allegiance to a flag flown by pro-Trump extremists during the January 6 insurrection—a move Youngkin eventually denounced.
What was noticeable throughout the race was the apparently deliberate distance Youngkin's campaign kept from Trump despite the former President's perception as a "kingmaker" in the Republican party. Though Trump endorsed Youngkin in a statement, the Youngkin campaign didn't seek Trump's presence at any of its rallies. Democrats even ran ads highlighting Trump's glaring absence.
Nevertheless, in an interview on Wednesday, Trump credited himself with Virginia's startling rightward swing.
The former President said in an interview with a local Virginia radio station:
"I've heard Virginia is blue, but I've never believed it was blue ... Without MAGA he would have lost by 15 points, more ... instead of giving us credit they say, 'oh he's more popular than [Trump].'"
Trump also lamented that, rather than giving him credit, pundits instead said Youngkin was more popular than Trump.
It was yet another narcissistic episode from the former President.
Considering Trump lost Virginia just last year by around 10 points and Youngkin won it by around two, Youngkin is objectively more popular than Trump in Virginia, as people soon pointed out.
The GOP wins in Virginia could result in massive strategy changes for both parties ahead of the 2022 midterms.