If history is any guide, Vice President Kamala Harris was on to something when she warned at a Terry McAuliffe campaign rally over weekend that what happens in Virginia elections does not stay in Virginia.
In fact, two of the biggest Republican congressional midterm landslides came in circumstances very similar to now.
“What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024, and on,” Harris told her audience at a McAuliffe rally in Norfolk on Saturday.
Kamala Harris, four days ago: “What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024, and on.” pic.twitter.com/kjwaBYOiJb
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 3, 2021
Well, what took place in the Old Dominion appears to have been a clean Republican sweep.
Republican Glenn Youngkin came from behind to upset McAuliffe in the governor’s race.
But Youngkin wasn’t the only GOP candidate to win — the first statewide GOP victories in Virginia in over a decade.
Marine veteran Winsome Sears took the lieutenant governor’s race, becoming the first African-American woman elected to statewide office in the commonwealth’s history.
And GOP candidate Jason Miyares won the attorney general’s contest over Democrat Mark Herring, who was seeking a third term in the top law enforcement job.
Miyares is the son of a Cuban immigrant and will be the first Latino to hold statewide office in Virginia.
“I am living proof” – Winsome Sears delivers a powerful victory speech blasting identity politics pic.twitter.com/gpxy61j6dl
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 3, 2021
The Associated Press exit polling found that Youngkin carried 55 percent of the Latino vote in the commonwealth. Presumably, down-ballot Republican candidates won similar margins.
In addition to the statewide offices, the GOP is also poised to take back control of the House of Delegates, where the party has already secured 50 seats, with four races still undecided.
Democrats held a 55 to 45 majority going into the election.
Taken altogether, the GOP had a very good night on Tuesday.
There have been two other times in relatively recent history in which GOP wins in Virginia’s off-year elections preceded a nationwide red wave in the congressional midterms the following year.
In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president giving the Democrats control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.
Democrats proceeded to try to ram through universal, government-controlled health care, which failed.
The 1993 election in Virginia saw Republican George Allen defeat Democrat former state attorney general Mary Sue Terry by nearly 18 percentage points. Both were running to succeed Democratic Gov. Doug Wilder.
Then, as now, it had been over a decade since a GOP candidate had won the governor’s office, The New York Times reported.
What happened the next year in the 1994 midterms was the Republican Revolution, when the GOP took back both the House and the Senate for the first time since the 1950s.
In the House, Republicans netted 54 seats.
Fast forward to 2008. Barack Obama won the presidency, once again giving the Democrats full control in Washington.
They proceeded to pass a nearly $800 billion stimulus bill and geared up to pass Obamacare.
In 2009, Republican Bob McDonnell defeated Democrat Creigh Deeds to become Virginia’s 71st governor, with over 58 percent of the vote.
As with Allen, McDonnell replaced a Democratic governor — now-Sen. Tim Kaine — who had succeeded now-Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.
In other words, it was not like Virginia was some solid red state that had been electing Republican governors one after the other. The opposite was true. Most have been Democrats over the years.
In fact, McDonnell had been the last Republican elected to lead the commonwealth before Youngkin.
You can guess what happened the year following McDonnell’s win: a Tea Party-fueled rout of Democrats in the midterms with the GOP picking up 63 seats in the House.
Kamala Harris last week while campaigning in Virginia: “What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens In 2022, 2024, and on.”
Virginians sent a resounding message rebuking Democrats. The red wave is here!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 3, 2021
Harris was definitely on to something when she observed that what happens in Virginia does not tend to stay in Virginia.
Let’s hope history repeats itself.
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