Former President Donald Trump took credit Monday night for Glenn Youngkin’s come-from-behind win in the Virginia gubernatorial race and told Congressional Republicans that the path to victory is through his army of “MAGA” supporters.
Trump spoke to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s reelection outfit, and told his audience that the party will not win back the White House in 2024 without appealing to his voters, according to the New York Times.
The 45th president said Youngkin would not have been able to pull off last week’s shocking win over Democrat Terry McAuliffe without Trump supporters coming out in droves to vote for the Republican.
Youngkin, a political novice, defeated McAuliffe, a former head of the Democratic National Committee who served as governor between 2014 and 2018, by about 2 percentage points in a state President Biden won last year by 10 points.
But while Trump endorsed Youngkin, the two never appeared side-by-side during the campaign.
Youngkin focused his message on kitchen-table issues like education and the economy, and worked on winning back suburban voters to shore up his support in the commonwealth.
In a statement following Youngkin’s win, Trump thanked his “BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin.”
“Without you, he would not have been close to winning,” the former president said in a statement. “The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before. Glenn will be a great governor. Thank you to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia and most particularly, to our incredible MAGA voters!”
Trump also held a tele-rally on the eve of the election to call on Virginians to turn out for Youngkin.
“This is your chance to break the grip on the radical left, that they have on the commonwealth. You can send a very strong message to Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, AOC plus three. You’ve got to send a message to this really corrupt media,” the former president said at the tele-rally.
Youngkin did not take part in the tele-rally because he was holding a final campaign appearance in suburban Loudoun County in northern Virginia.
Trump is widely expected to run for president in 2024, though he has repeatedly said he will not announce his final decision until after next year’s midterm elections.
“I am certainly thinking about it and we’ll see,” he told Fox News in an interview published Monday. “I think a lot of people will be very happy, frankly, with the decision, and [I] probably will announce that after the midterms.”