CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s high-profile race for governor Tuesday. The win flipped control of the state that President Joe Biden won by 10 percentage points in 2020. And as the party felt the sting from that loss, New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy narrowly won reelection Wednesday, in a state Biden won by 16 percentage points.
The results from Virginia and other states holding off-year elections suggest there may be trouble brewing ahead for Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.
U.S. Rep. Bryan Moore (R-AL) says Youngkin’s victory was bound to happen.
“We already saw the trends,” Moore said on NewsNation’s “On Balance.” “I mean, even in our class coming in, and I’m a freshman, we saw a red wave down the ballot south of Trump.”
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the election results were a sign that voters are unsettled.
“People are upset and uncertain about a lot of things, from COVID to school to jobs to a whole range of things and the cost of a gallon of gasoline. And so if I’m able to pass and sign into law my Build Back Better initiative, I’m in a position where you’re going to see a lot of things ameliorated, quickly and swiftly.”
He said it would have helped if the legislation had passed his two spending plans before Election Day but it wouldn’t necessarily have changed the outcome.
Moore said the election results in Virginia and other states are an indicator that people are getting fed up with Biden’s agenda.
“I think that we’ve kind of been seeing the policies, whether it’s the border crisis, inflation starting to hit the American people in the pocketbook,” he said. “Honestly, we felt like we’re gonna get a win.”
Moore believes that’s Youngkin’s focus on education was a key reason why he won the race.
“When you tell the parents that they don’t control the children’s future and destiny in education, I think that is a huge issue,” Moore said. “The American people, we still own our children, the federal government does not.”
Schools became a major focus of the governor’s race for Youngkin, who localized a nationwide issue after McAuliffe said during a debate that parents shouldn’t “be telling schools what they should teach.” In Virginia, 15% of voters listed education as a top issue, and about 7 of 10 of those voted for Youngkin.
As far as 2022 goes, Moore said that there is a lot of time between now and then. But he also noted that a lot can happen in Washington in two weeks. He said this race is just a glimpse of what could happen in the future.
“We’re in the minority party; we can’t control the process,” Moore said. He added, “But at the end of the day, the American people standing with us can send a powerful message.”
Reuters contributed to this story.