The Big Red Wave of 2021

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin at a campaign event in Leesburg, Va., November 1, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)
Before we can fully understand why the gubernatorial elections turned out the way they did, it is helpful to look at what happened.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W hat happened on Tuesday to make Glenn Youngkin the governor of Virginia, and bring Jack Ciattarelli within two points of taking down supposedly safe incumbent Phil Murphy in New Jersey? Before we can fully understand why it happened, it is helpful to look at what happened.


Let’s start with turnout. Votes are still being counted, particularly in New Jersey, and while that will not affect the final outcome, it is early to assess the final turnout numbers — especially in terms of comparing variations in turnout at the county level. Still, we can draw some preliminary conclusions.

In Virginia, by any measure,

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