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Gov. Glenn Youngkin Addresses Role of Parents' Rights in Midterms as Polling Proves His Point

AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

Last November, Republican Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia gubernatorial race against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) by prioritizing education and parental rights, and it's an issue that continues to play a defining role in his administration. At a Back to School rally in late August, Youngkin told Townhall that he believed those issues would play a role in these federal midterm races as well. He also discussed these upcoming races during a Fox News appearance on Thursday. A Monmouth University poll released that same day showed parents heavily disapproving of President Joe Biden.


The poll shows that just 24 percent of registered voters with "children in home" approve of Biden, while 69 percent disapprove. Other than the 9 percent of Republican registered voters who answered that they thought Biden has "been giving enough attention to the issues that are most important to your family or do you wish he would give more attention to issues that are important to your family," the 23 percent of those with children in the home were among the least likely to think Biden was giving enough attention to such issues. By double digits, parents also want Republicans to take control of Congress, with 47 percent saying so, compared to the 23 percent who want Democrats to.

A write-up for Monmouth University warns in its headline that "Biden Not Paying Enough Attention to Most Important Issues."

Youngkin also addressed his campaigning for fellow Republican gubernatorial candidates across the country, which he told host Harris Faulkner is "of course the same message that voters last year in Virginia spoke so loudly about, which is they're tired of the chaos." That includes not just on the economy and on crime, but how voters are "tired of their schools being in a state of chaos where they shut unnecessarily for an extended period of time, their kids suffered, and parents have been shut out of their kids lives."


Besides how Virginians voted based on these issues last year, Youngkin indicated "I see it happening across the nation and I think this is going to be a big moment for Republican gubernatorial candidates," including where Biden won and also where Republicans are looking to get re-elected.

Virginia was one of those states in the former category, where President Biden won by 10 percentage points against former President Donald Trump in 2020. By October 2021, though, his approval ratings were underwater, which even McAuliffe admitted, though he still campaigned openly with the president on multiple occasions

When it comes to allow Republican governors who will take office in states where Democrats have been in control, Youngkin urged them to be ready to go to work on their first day in office, as he did on January 15. This included raising school standards and involving parents once more in their children's education. 

Faulkner also brought up the results of a Fox News poll released earlier in the week, which showed that 79 percent of respondents who were parents were "extremely" or "very" concerned about "what's taught in schools." It's second only to inflation. 

The poll also showed that while parents are most concerned about book banning, at 73 percent, a close second was parents having little say, at 70 percent. Majorities also said they were concerned about overly focusing on race and transgender policies, at 61 percent and 60 percent, respectively. Youngkin had addressed those concerns on the campaign trail and on his first day in office. 


About these results, Youngkin insisted "it should not be a surprise to anybody that education is one of the top issues in voters' minds, as it's "not a Republican issue, it's not a Democratic issue, it's a parent issue," and that it "cuts across all political divides and we've seen it around Virginia and across the nation that when it comes to making decisions for their children, parents know they have a fundamental right to do this." Youngkin also warned that "what we've seen from progressive liberals is a systematic approach to push parents out of their kids' lives and replace them with bureaucrats, replace them politicians, and parents are saying 'no, we've had enough.'" 

Youngkin pointed out that "one of the most amazing things is the consist transparency that progressive liberals show at their true agenda, and every now and then it comes out," which applies not only to McAuliffe's comments from last year that parents shouldn't have a role in education, but a proposal from Virginia Democratic Del. Elizabeth Guzman, which, as Townhall has covered, would make it illegal for parents to not affirm their child's sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Voters are standing up and saying 'well, I suspected that, but now it's confirmed,' and I think we're gonna see education continue to be a huge role until we get this turned around." When it comes to how they've "turned it around" in Virginia, Youngkin said, "it all gets back to a fundamental belief that parents matter, they have a primary role in making these decisions, one that will not be supplanted by bureaucrats and politicians," while also speaking to having high standards at the same time. "We can lift the ceiling and the floor, and that's what we're doing in Virginia."


In response, Faulkner also pointed out "nothing succeeds like success," as she suggested fellow Republican gubernatorial candidates are looking to him on the issue of gender identity, parents' rights, and education. 

As part of his final thoughts, Youngkin reminded he's also campaigning for Virginia congressional candidates, so that "that plane ticket home for Nancy Pelosi is actually purchased by Virginians and handed by our new Republican congressional candidates that already joined the ones that are there."

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