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Tipsheet

Glenn Youngkin Looks to Bring His Winning Strategy to More States to Help Elect Republican Governors

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) will travel to several states in the coming weeks to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidates, as POLITICO's Alex Isenstadt reported on Tuesday morning. 

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One stop includes Georgia, where Youngkin will campaign for Gov. Brian Kemp, the incumbent Republican facing Democrat Stacey Abrams, in a rematch of the state's 2018 gubernatorial race. 

Youngkin will also make campaign stops in states where Republican nominees are looking to defeat Democratic incumbents, such as New Mexico, where Mark Ronchetti is facing Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Kansas, where Derek Schmidt is facing Gov. Laura Kelly. Another stop includes Oregon, where Republican nominee Christine Drazan is facing Democratic nominee Tina Kotek. 

It was also recently announced that Youngkin will travel to Michigan to campaign for Republican nominee Tudor Dixon, who is facing Gretchen Whitmer, the state's Democratic governor. 

While Youngkin's campaigning events are tailored to helping other Republican governors get elected, including in states considered more Democratic, this hasn't stopped speculation that his events are a preview to a presidential run in 2024. 

Isenstadt's headline mentions how one of Youngkin's stops includes "a 2024 early state," referring to Nevada. His presence there, though, is to campaign for Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo, who is running against the state's Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak. 

Isenstadt describes the race as one that Republicans are "particularly focused on," though that might not have much to do with it being an early primary state in 2024. Cook's Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball consider this gubernatorial race a "Toss-Up." 

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Reporting from The Hill by Caroline Vakil, which references Isenstadt's article, bears the headline, "Youngkin traveling to five more states amid talk of possible 2024 bid." 

Youngkin has previously said, "I am so excited to be supporting Republican gubernatorial candidates across the country. Michigan is going to be a great stop. We're also supporting candidates across Virginia. We are going to take back congressional seats in Virginia…my focus is on 2022." Indeed, his other campaign priorities have been on getting Republicans elected at the congressional level. Youngkin continued to note that his "top priority is to make Virginia the best state to live work and raise a family. 2024 is a long way off. Right now, I am focused on delivering on promises made last year that have been kept. We've got a giant agenda for the rest of this year and into next year. And 2024 will happen when 2024 gets here." 

Both reports acknowledge Youngkin's impressive win last November in Virginia, which was once considered a purple or even blue state. Despite the race once being considered to favor Youngkin's Democratic opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who had also been leading in the polls for a large portion of the race, Youngkin's momentum grew in the final months. He ultimately won 50.6 of the vote compared to McAuliffe's 48.76 percent. Youngkin also outperformed how Republicans had done in previous cycles, including in more heavily Democratic areas. 

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Youngkin's election was the first time a Republican had won statewide since the election of Bob McDonnell as governor in 2009. In November, Virginians also elected Winsome Sears to be the first woman and black woman lieutenant governor and Jason Miyrares to be the first Latino attorney general to hold statewide office. 

Nevertheless, both reports draw more of a connection to 2024 than anything else. Kristin Davison, a political adviser to Youngkin, said to Townhall in a statement, "The governor is excited to take the spirit of Virginia to these targeted states and help Republican gubernatorial candidates flip blue states red, just as he did in Virginia last year." 

As far as what Youngkin's potential plans might be after his term, he can't run for governor again until 2029. The Virginia constitution does not allow its governors to run for consecutive terms. Youngkin's term thus ends in January 2026. 

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