How White Women Helped Propel Republicans to Victory in Virginia

Democrats dismissed Glenn Youngkin's emphasis on schools, but it may have helped cost them an election in a state they were favored to win

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin greets a voter outside a voting location in Chantilly, Virginia.
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White women voters may have made the difference for Republicans in Virginia’s high-profile gubernatorial race Tuesday, swinging by double digits towards the GOP and giving the party a potentially winning playbook in future elections.

For some Democrats surveying the wreckage from a bad night, the 13 percentage point swing towards the GOP among white women — fueled by a 37 point shift among white women who didn’t go to college — was the number in NBC News exit polls that stood out among a sea of bad ones.

“That white non-college woman is very sobering,” said Scott Kozar, a Democratic consultant who worked on the Virginia lieutenant governor and House of Delegate races.

Democrats had attributed much of their victories in 2018 and 2020 to driving up their margins with women, helping propel the party to control of Congress by tilting key districts away from their previous Republican slant.

But that tide appears to have receded.

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When asked about his responsibility for Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s loss in Virginia’s governor’s race, President Biden said that people are experiencing "a whole lot of confusion" and said that his agenda is "overwhelmingly popular."
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