I agree with Ramesh Ponnuru, Karl Rove, and Terry Schilling that Republicans fared better in the Virginia elections than many mainstream-media pundits indicate.
An analysis of vote totals in the Virginia state legislative races is instructive. Republicans received more than 49 percent of the two-party vote share in both the Virginia state-senate races and the Virginia house races. Interestingly, in the 67 Virginia house races where both a Democrat and a Republican appeared on the ballot, Republicans actually captured a majority of the two-party vote share.
Granted, summing vote totals of local races is an imperfect measure of overall party performance. Incumbents in safe districts have less of an incentive to turn out like-minded voters than do incumbents in swing districts.
That said, multiple datapoints from Virginia show that Republican candidates performed relatively well in a state that President Biden carried by more than ten percentage points in 2020. Furthermore, Republicans supported Glenn Youngkin’s proposal to protect preborn children after 15 weeks gestation, and the Virginia house Republican caucus ran ads attacking Democrats for their extremism on the abortion issue.
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Perhaps the Virginia model offers pro-life Republicans a pathway forward in 2024.
LifeNews Note: Michael J. New is an assistant professor at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America and is an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_J_New
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