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Virginia’s bellwether elections could reshape the commonwealth – and its governor’s political future

Virginia is gearing up for its November elections, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. All 140 seats in the state’s legislature are up for election, offering both Democrats and Republicans the clearest indications yet of where voters stand on crucial issues like abortion, crime, voting rights, and the economy.

Governor Glenn Youngkin, who gained national recognition by unifying moderate Republicans and former President Donald Trump’s supporters to win the 2021 gubernatorial race, is using his newfound popularity to fundraise for the Spirit of Virginia, his state political action committee. Despite insisting that his focus is solely on the House and Senate races in 2023, Youngkin’s significant fundraising efforts have fueled speculation about his political future.

While Youngkin’s political ambitions remain uncertain, his fundraising success has led to suggestions that he may consider running for president. Major donors have contributed generously to his Spirit of Virginia PAC, indicating their desire to see him enter the presidential race.

The November elections will also serve as a referendum on Youngkin’s policies, including his advocacy for expanding school choice programs and implementing a 15-week limit on abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

As Virginia braces for this pivotal election, both parties are working hard to ensure voter turnout in a low-turnout election year with no federal or gubernatorial races. Youngkin’s political organization could be a game-changer in this regard, further intensifying the Democratic Party’s efforts to support their candidates.

The outcome of the Virginia elections will not only shape the future of the state but could also significantly impact the national political landscape, with an eye on the 2024 presidential election.

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