The victorious gubernatorial campaign last year of Glenn Youngkin in Virginia had many high points. Retiring a retread like Terry McAuliffe, giving the business to Bolshie school boards while defeating CRT, and watching Democrats cry and pout after the loss all are terrific reasons to be alive.
How did Youngkin do it? A combination of reasons. A smart campaign, a timely message, and the hard Left inadvertently played into his hands every chance it got.
But another factor was how the Youngkin campaign handled Donald Trump and his devotees. They used Trump to get out his base, but kept him quiet otherwise and kept him out of Virginia, not drawing a Newtonian Third Law result from Independent voters who Trump lost in 2020. It is a model of how the GOP should handle Trump in the fall. The issue is, will Trump, can Trump, be handled?
If he insists on making midterm races about him and his obsessions then the Republicans will end up with another Georgia Senate runoff scenario. They will lose seats they should win because Trump is radioactive to some voters who may otherwise vote Republican.
But without his base the Republicans are doomed. It was the quandary Youngkin faced. So Youngkin must have pitched the limited participation strategy to Trump and he surprisingly went along with it. Perhaps he remembered Georgia.
If Trump agrees to the same thing in the fall then he will be focused on the South and areas like Pennsyltucky, i.e.- white working class voters in swing states. He is highly approved of there and his presence matters. The whole shtick plays to those people, just as the hard Left Dem racist thing plays to the inner cities.
His record plays everywhere, at least his record before COVID, and using that as a contrast to Biden is also a smart message. But there is a difference between the man and the administration. Voters made that clear in November of 2020.
If Trump doesn’t keep it down a notch or two then the races can become about him and no doubt his weird and pathetic personal quest for redemption after his presidential election loss. That obviously won’t play with Dems. However, Independents, who are crucial to Republican victories, have heard enough of that. They are interested in the issues of today like inflation, gas prices, crime, Ukraine, and the border. They care as much about the 2020 election as they care about the 1896 election. That is, nothing. Sorry Bill McKinley.
We as conservatives and Republicans have a chance to stop the Biden agenda dead cold in November, just as we did to other Dem presidents in 1994 and 2010. We don’t need a self-absorbed buttinski ruining the show. But we do need his people at the polls. It’s the Republican political tightrope of 2022.