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Election 2021: Winners and Losers

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

What a night! Not only did Glenn Youngkin defeat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, but New Jersey shocked everyone by becoming a surprisingly competitive state when it really shouldn’t have been. Make no mistake about it, Tuesday night’s elections didn’t occur in a vacuum and have widespread implications. There were a bunch of winners and losers that weren’t on the ballot Tuesday. Here are just a few of them:

LOSER: Joe Biden

Pundits have been saying for weeks that the election in Virginia was a referendum on Joe Biden and his agenda in Congress. McAuliffe may have been the Democrat on the ballot, but Joe Biden lent his coattails to save him, and it wasn’t enough, despite the fact that Biden had won the state by ten points a year earlier.

WINNER: Donald Trump

Donald Trump may not have been on the ballot on Tuesday, but, at times, it seemed Terry McAuliffe was running against him, not Glenn Youngkin. And guess who’s gloating about it? “It is looking like Terry McAuliffe’s campaign against a certain person named ‘Trump’  has very much helped Glenn Youngkin,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday night.

“All McAuliffe did was talk Trump, Trump, Trump and he lost! What does that tell you, Fake News? I guess people running for office as Democrats won’t be doing that too much longer,” he continued. “I didn’t even have to go rally for Youngkin, because McAuliffe did it for me. Thank you to the MAGA voters for turning out big!”

LOSER: Barack Obama

It puts a smile on my face to see Barack Obama learn the painful reality that he doesn’t “have it” anymore. McAuliffe was clearly in trouble when he brought the former president in to boost turnout of his base, and his failure to boost McAuliffe in a state he won twice shows that Obama has lost his mojo. Obama’s reputation for being an intellectual in the political realm also took a beating when his McAuliffe rally speech attacking parents backfired spectacularly.

WINNER: Parental Rights

And speaking of parents, polls showed that the issue of parental rights and education was a huge factor in the Virginia election and that they not only helped boost Youngkin to victory but brought Democrat voters into his column. The Democrat establishment grossly miscalculated in insisting that parents shouldn’t have any influence in their kids’ education and for thinking that was a political winner for them.

LOSER: Critical Race Theory

Is critical race theory the hill to die on? After Tuesday, you can sure bet it won’t be. Attempts to brand opponents of CRT as racist clearly didn’t work and neither did efforts to pretend that CRT wasn’t even being taught in schools.

WINNER: Joe Manchin/Kyrsten Sinema

The two most-hated Democrats by their own party right now just saw an election that validated their more moderate approach to politics. Despite running as a moderate, Joe Biden has embraced the most radical policies of the left, and now Virginia flipped red and New Jersey has emerged as a surprisingly competitive state. Biden easily won both states by double digits in 2020.

LOSER: Defund The Police

Minneapolis was Ground Zero of the Defund the Police movement after the death of George Floyd, yet when voters in the city were given the chance to abolish their police department, they rejected it.

WINNER: Mitch McConnell

On Friday, Kamala Harris said, “What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024, and on.” Well, after Tuesday night, Mitch McConnell can see his return as Senate majority leader very clearly now. McConnell’s return as majority leader will not only end Biden’s radical agenda, but will stall his judicial nominations. McConnell has already promised that should Republicans win the majority in 2022, and should a vacancy on the Supreme Court opens up, he will block it.

LOSER: The Squad

“The Squad” lost a lot of power Tuesday night. Democrat leaders, including Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, have caved to their demands thinking it would unite their party behind an ambitious “progressive” agenda. Instead, they alienated moderates and unified Republicans. If Democrat leaders want to learn a lesson from Tuesday night, they’ll scoff at the radicalism of AOC, Ilhan Omar, and the rest of them, and pursue an agenda more palatable to the public. It’s unlikely that they will, but it won’t matter. Linking Democrats to the radical policies of the Squad will continue to be an effective strategy for Republicans over the next three years.