More Issues, Less Trump: GOP Sees Model After Virginia Win

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin arrives to speak at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., on Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Since the day he rode down a golden escalator and announced his candidacy for president, Republicans have struggled with how to deal with Donald Trump. But after Youngkin's stunning victory in the Virginia governor's race — a state President Joe Biden won last year by 10 percentage points — and a strong GOP showing in deep-blue New Jersey's, party leaders believe they have a model that can deliver them big wins in next year's midterm elections.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(AP) — Republicans have struggled to deal with Donald Trump since the day he announced his candidacy for president. But after Glenn Youngkin’s stunning victory in the Virginia governor’s race and a close loss in New Jersey’s, party leaders believe they have settled on a model that can deliver them big wins in next year’s midterm elections.

By tapping into culture battles over issues like school curricula, the GOP can energize Trump’s loyal base. But party leaders believe they can also win back suburbanites who abandoned the GOP during the Trump era by talking about local issues like taxes and keeping the former president at arm’s length.


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