RICHMOND, VA — Virginia Democrats retained control of the state Senate and won back a majority in the House of Delegates Tuesday in a setback for Gov. Glenn Younkin’s conservative agenda. The Democrats’ victory in the state Senate ended the prospect of Republican control of the Senate, House and the governor’s mansion, which would have allowed Youngkin (R) to move on his policy priorities, including a proposed 15-week abortion ban, AP said.
“It’s official: there will be absolutely no abortion ban legislation sent to Glenn Youngkin’s desk for the duration of his term in office, period, as we have thwarted MAGA Republicans’ attempt to take total control of our government and our bodies,” Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said in a statement Tuesday night.
“Tomorrow is the first day of a new Virginia,” House Minority Leader Don L. Scott Jr. (D-Portsmouth), who could be in line to become the first Black person to serve as speaker in the state’s history, told the joyful crowd, according to The Washington Post.
Virginia Democrats who campaigned on protecting abortion rights swept Tuesday’s legislative elections, retaking full control of the General Assembly after two years of divided power. The outcome is a loss for Youngkin and his fellow Republicans, who exerted a great deal of energy, money and political capital on their effort to secure a GOP trifecta, the Associated Press said.
“It’s official: there will be absolutely no abortion ban legislation sent to Glenn Youngkin’s desk for the duration of his term in office, period, as we have thwarted MAGA Republicans’ attempt to take total control of our government and our bodies,” Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said in a statement referencing Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Comment: At least the political ads will subside for a while. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I was hoping that our state government would remain divided and it has. Governor Younkin is still governor. A divided government prevents either side from running amok in the mistaken belief that they have the mythical mandate from the people. I’ve lived here for near three decades now. Moderation always seemed to be a characteristic of our state government as well as both parties.
The abortion issue was front and center in this election cycle. The Democrats ran heavily on it. The Republicans tried to sidestep it. Youngkin pushed a fairly moderate and unMAGA like 15 week ban with exceptions while many in his party were still screaming about banning abortion. I think a lot of Virginia’s voters saw through this as an election ploy. Youngkin and other Virginia Republicans were singing about banning abortion soon after the last election. Abortion in Virginia is already restricted to the first two trimesters. Beyond that, certain conditions must be met. I haven’t heard any cries from the Democratic side to abolish those restrictions.
Beyond that issue, this election has been a solid kick to the jollies of Youngkin’s future political ambitions. Just in the last week, I’ve heard several stories about Youngkin entering the Republican presidential primaries if he managed to bring the Virginia Senate under Republican control last night. He failed in that and lost the State House in the process. Now he must ride out the rest of his lame duck administration with a hostile Senate and House of Delegates. His hopes for MAGA lite change, whatever that means, are dashed. But he still wields the veto pen if the Democrats get too cocky. Their hold on power is far from veto proof.