Youngkin Embraces 'Election Season,' Launches Early-Voting Bus Tour Ahead of Key Virginia Elections

AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is a popular guy. 

How popular? 

According to a late July Morning Consult survey, the first-term governor's approval rating reached a record high amid speculation about his presidential ambitions, which he continues to deny, saying he will instead focus on the 2024 Virginia General Assembly elections.  


At this stage of Youngkin's political career, his stated objective appears to be a smart move — and the way he's going about achieving that objective appears even smarter. As I reported in mid-August, Youngkin has been urging Republicans to embrace early voting, and learn to "beat the Democrats at their own game."

Facts Are Facts

The Democrats now play an Election Season game, while the Republicans largely rely on the traditional Election Day game. Given the results of the 2022 midterm elections and 2022 presidential election, it's hard (impossible) to argue logically that the Democrat strategy doesn't work. To that point, Youngkin said in August:

We can’t go into our elections down thousands of votes. And you can secure your vote before Election Day. Join the permanent absentee list and make a plan to vote early — by mail or in person. … It’s time to go to work.

Youngkin referred to his 2021 gubernatorial win over former Virginia Democrat Gov. Terry McCauliffe as an example. 

One of the most important plays in Republicans’ game plan in Virginia is not new or groundbreaking – it involves an aggressive absentee and early voting program. We turned out early voters in our 2021 win, and we’re doubling down in 2023.

In Virginia, you do not need a reason or an excuse to vote early or by absentee ballot. Democrats put these rules in place while in control of Virginia’s government and have used these rules to their advantage by vastly outpacing Republicans in early and absentee voting.

We can either continue complaining, or we can recognize reality, beat the left at their own game, and win elections. I chose to win – to make Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family – which is why I launched Secure Your Vote Virginia.


And so it continues.

Youngkin's Spirit of Virginia PAC is launching a bus tour of the state on Labor Day as part of the governor's early voting push ahead of legislative elections that will determine which party controls each chamber. The primary objective of the tour is to encourage voters not only to vote Republican but to also vote early — or via absentee ballot — rather than to wait until Election Day.

Dave Rexrode, chairman of the Spirit of Virginia PAC, told the Washington Examiner.

We are going everywhere and competing for every single vote because we know that Governor Youngkin’s common sense agenda is resonating and delivering. 

Virginians want leaders in Richmond who will work with Governor Youngkin to lower the cost of living, restore excellence in education with parents at the head of the table, and improve public safety in our communities. 

That is the message we are taking across the Commonwealth as we kick off this bus tour to encourage folks to make sure their voice is heard in this critical election through Secure Your Vote Virginia.

Not to be redundant, but is there a better alternative? 

Sure, naysayers can, do, and will continue to sing the "What difference does it make?" song, arguing that Democrat election fraud will win in the end, anyway, so we might as well just pick up our ball and go home. I'm no Einstein, but defaulting to deflection, while doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results, isn't exactly genius. 


The Bottom Line

If the Republican Party is going to consistently win key elections in battleground states it's going to have to embrace an election-season strategy over a traditional election-day strategy. 

If the GOP fails to do so, the song will remain the same.



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