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By Jesse Wegman
Mr. Wegman is a member of the editorial board.
Glenn Youngkin’s victory over Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor’s race surprised many people in a state that has been trending blue for years. Republican candidates also won the other top races in the state, for lieutenant governor and attorney general.
All three races were high-profile, closely fought affairs. Yet there were no claims of fraud by the losers, no conspiracy theories about Venezuelan despots rigging voting machines, no spurious lawsuits demanding recounts. As of Wednesday afternoon, at least, the State Capitol in Richmond stands untouched.
How refreshing to see adults accepting defeat with grace.
And the stakes were plenty high. Democrats across the country had grown increasingly anxious over the polls coming out of Virginia, and for good reason. It’s considered a bellwether for the midterm elections, and Tuesday’s vote served as the first major referendum on the Biden era.
The McAuliffe campaign’s reaction to his crushing loss? Gird yourselves. “Congratulations to Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory,” Mr. McAuliffe said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I hope Virginians will join me in wishing the best to him and his family.”
Come again? Republican turnout was way up in key precincts; surely Mr. McAuliffe was teeing up to make some wild accusation about partisan operatives stuffing ballot boxes. “While last night we came up short, I am proud that we spent this campaign fighting for the values we so deeply believe in,” the statement said.
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