Establishment Republicans Drawing Wrong Conclusions from Virginia Wins

Republican advisors need to understand gun owners didn’t so much vote FOR Youngkin as AGAINST these proven enemies of their rights and stop treating core constituents like a campaign liability. (New Virginia Majority/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -( “Republicans are eyeing Glenn Youngkin’s successful campaign for the Virginia governor’s mansion as a roadmap for the 2022 midterm elections,” The Hill noted Thursday. “While he seized on issues that resonated with Trump’s conservative base — demands for increased election security, for instance — he talked about less controversial messages with swing voters.”

“Lost in the public obsession with former President Trump’s loss, grievances and threats to run again: Non-Trump Republicans have had a strong, yearlong run nationally beneath and around him,” Axios echoed (and rather snottily at that). “Republicans kept their distance from Trump and won the governor’s mansion in Virginia — and almost won liberal New Jersey.”

The meme they are perpetuating is that Republicans need to be more moderate and avoid controversy. After all, the “logic” goes, Youngkin won with that strategy.

Not by that much, and if you look at results in Virginia’s high population areas, McAuliffe beat Youngkin by landslides. Case in point, Fairfax County, voted 64.7% to 34.8% Democrat. That, particularly with growth and changing demographics, is what put Democrats in charge last time, in what The New York Times explained as “How Voters Turned Virginia From Deep Red to Solid Blue.”

Don’t expect that to do anything but accelerate. Traditional Democrat voting blocs did nothing unexpected this time out. Per Ann Coulter:

“CNN exit poll: Black voters: 87% for McAuliffe to 13% for Youngkin – Hispanic voters: 68% for McAuliffe to 31% for Youngkin – Asian voters: 66% for McAuliffe to 34% for Youngkin … At this very moment, money men in the Republican Party are looking at Virginia and saying, ‘You see? We’ve got to pass amnesty to win over Latinos!’”

(Note: Politico documents vast differences in results between the Associated Press’ Vote Cast and Edison Research.)

Essentially what happened is Youngkin, who made a point of avoiding  “controversial” issues like the right to keep and bear arms, won because he wasn’t McAuliffe and because of a radical Democrat agenda on issues including parental say on public school agendas, angered a critical mass of voters. Virginia’s gun owners voted for him not because he inspired them with his leadership on the issue, but out of self-defense interests, and primarily because he did not campaign, as McAuliffe had, on disarming them.

That was successful because gun owners are learning to emulate the Democrat playbook and organize. In addition to the Virginia Citizens Defense League keeping them informed on the threat that a new McAuliffe regime would present, the organization came in large part from the Second Amendment “sanctuary” movement, which has grown exponentially in Virginia after gun owners started waking up to the realization that the end game threat to them is very real.

As for other Republicans who won, hiding from guns was not an issue for Lt. Governor-elect Winsome Sears, who proudly posed with her AR-15, and the incoming Attorney General, Jason Miyares, has established a past record that includes voting against a host of disarmament laws. (In a further demonstration of “progressive” racism akin to Joe Biden’s “You ain’t black” stereotyping, an MSNBC guest said of Sears “The problem is, here, they want white supremacy by ventriloquist effect. There is a black mouth moving but a white idea running on the runway of the tongue of a figure who justifies and legitimates the white supremacist practices.”)

As for New Jersey, despite media projections of a narrow victory for incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Murphy, Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli has, at this writing, refused to concede:

“Currently, Governor Murphy and I are separated by about 1% after 2.4 million ballots counted. Here are still tens of thousands of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots yet to be counted, and so, the Governor’s victory speech last night was premature. No one should be declaring victory or conceding the election until every legal vote  is counted.”

As for guns, Murphy never came across one he didn’t want to grab. Conversely, Ciattarelli incurred the sputtering indignation and snark of the Star-Ledger Editorial Board, which accused him of “a history of misfires … when he was in the State Assembly.” The hysteria and hyperbole are classic scare tactics for the ignorant:

“When he was in the state Assembly, Jack Ciattarelli voted against banning 50 caliber weapons, those military-grade exterminators that can sever limbs and puncture armor. These are the weapons of choice for urban warfare, and a skilled sniper can use it to take down light armored vehicles, helicopters, or even a taxiing airplane — from nearly a mile away. Ciattarelli also voted against background checks for private gun sales … Ciattarelli voted against reducing magazine capacities from 15 to 10. He still wants to move it back to 15, because freedom. And, presumably, to give shooters the kind of firepower one needs for combat or for maximum bloodshed: Large-capacity magazines were designed for the battlefield, to help a soldier spray more bullets without reloading or being a skilled marksman.”

The acronym “PSH” comes to mind.

The one confirmed upset was truck driver Ed Durr beating “the longest-serving State Senate president in New Jersey history … on a shoestring budget.”

For his part, defeated Sen. Steve Sweeney in 2015 threatened to call the State Police on legislators absent for the vote against then Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a bill that would have added unnecessary and discriminatory burdens on citizens seeking to clear certain mental health records for the restoration of their right to own a gun.

And the catalyst for Durr getting involved?

He said that he was motivated to run for Sweeney’s state Senate seat in 2021 by anger over being denied a concealed carry gun permit… “I was told flat-out by the local sheriff, ‘Don’t even bother.’ And that kind of angered me,” said Durr. “I’ve never been arrested and I couldn’t get a concealed carry? … That really angered me, so I looked into what can you do to get into politics.”

Contrary to “moderate” Republican aversion to embracing the right to arms head-on, firearms freedoms have proven to be powerful motivators for getting out the vote. Those who would suppress taking an unequivocal stand seem oblivious to the demonstrable fact that the most powerful human motivator for real progress is not coercion or fear, but a positive incentive. That’s what built this country and turned it into the place the rest of the world wants to come to and feed off of.

Gun owners have been discouraged by candidates who want those votes but treat them like “those people” and their rights like an embarrassing and irrelevant afterthought – as if the “class” that looks down its nose at flyover Americans and the media are the ones who matter. It’s not so much good that Youngkin won as that McAuliffe lost, but a repeat performance for other candidates is not guaranteed if party pundits and campaign advisors keep giving gun owners reasons not to get excited.

“I was promised in his campaign office that [Youngkin] would be the most pro-gun Governor in Virginia history, and I intend to keep him to it,” AmmoLand Correspondent John Crump writes. Hopefully, that’s what will happen. Still, it’s not unfair to wonder how much more decisive his win could have been if he had made such a pledge repeatedly early on and throughout his campaign, and the effect that could have on the course future Republican candidates are being told to take.

Afterword: As this piece was being finalized, news came out that his political enemies have dug up an old tweet by Ed Durr where he expressed his unvarnished feelings about Islam. What word they would use to describe a man who married a young child is left unaddressed. The object here is for Democrats to stir up “hate” allegations, disenfranchise Durr voters, drive the newcomer out, and seize back the usurped power their arrogance and corruption just let slip through their fingers.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea


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Spot on with that assessment. The order of the day is to be as outspoken as possible. Conservatives by nature are not. Our not so honorable republican non leaders just go along to get along.


So Mr. E. Durr expressed a true feeling about the CULT of DEATH. Was it real or imagined? IF the expression was FACTUAL then let it stand against the DemoKKKrat national communist party which has abandoned their OATH OF OFFICE to DEFEND Americans against ENEMIES — BOTH — Foreign and Domestic!

Wild Bill

That … is well said!


You know I continue to get requests from Republican Party to donate, not going to, till I get reassurance that RINO’s will never see a dime of my Donation. Funny thing is no one will ever write back to confirm no RINO will ever see my money.

If each request would simply come with a check list of which candidates my money would fund I Would gladly donate again. How many of you would begin giving again?


Not me – I’ll never send a cent to the Republican Party (I wouldn’t trust them to disburse the funds as I requested). I give to individuals and also fund public Q&As/Debates with candidates and use my time for all the preparation that goes into moderating those public meetings.

I’m glad McAuliffe lost, but Youngkin is no more pro 2nd Amendment than Romney. I previously provided some info on his background. The election was just one more example of being allowed to choose between the lesser of two evils.


After what the RNC did to Cuccinelli and Virginia, I haven’t given them a penny and will continue to refuse them. I give directly to the politicians’ campaign.

Last edited 1 year ago by Raconteur

I’ve never donated to a political party and I won’t start now. I’ve donated to a specific candidate but that’s it. The Republican Party is absolute trash and has been for decades. They’re party over principles every time.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stag

I always try to vote for the ones that will hurt me the Least. But it is Hell to prove that they are Honest!



you say Sears posed with her AR-15.

Geraldo Rivera says it’s a machine gun.

So, who’s right?

Transcript below.


Geraldo was wrong as usual.


TRANSCRIPT: ============================================= PIRRO (on camera): While the media is calling voters racist, what they aren’t mentioning is Republican Winsome Sears winning in Virginia’s lieutenant governor’s race. The first woman of color to win that particular office in the state’s history. All right, Jesse, I’m going to start with you. OK. I just heard that quote from Niccole Wallace. I think the real ominous thing is that critical race theory, which isn’t real, turned the suburbs 15 points to Trump insurrection endorsed Republicans. What are they talking about? WATTERS: Well, judge, as a journalist, we hunted down the curriculum on the… Read more »

Henry Bowman

Geraldo Rivera is a complete idiot. NOT a conservative!


Mack,Gerald is a liberal (who claims to be a Republican) that continues to make idiotic statements about firearms based on cosmetics alone. She’s holding a AR15,not a M16!!!. TEX


I do hope everyone reading this important analysis takes this seriously.

I wish the consultants would take this seriously.

Bill N

I would be interested in the percentage of registered voters that voted this time around. If memory serves me only about 40% voted last time. I would like to think a much higher percentage showed up and voted. Not enough info in this article.


auote: “There is a black mouth moving but a white idea running on the runway of the tongue of a figure who justifies and legitimates the white supremacist practices.” Interesing that their warped brains could never conceive of the possibility that “white supremacy” has naught to do with her being elected? Nor with the solid defeat of the alternate candidate that was rejected. I saw some snarky comment about the new wjhite supremacist” Lt Gov and figured “oh boy, another round of the same old same old. TEN I saw a picture of her and all I could do ws… Read more »


That quote would be from Michael Eric Dyson.


It matters not what color a republican is, or if they have ever said something mean, dems will scream racist, white supremacist, ***phobe, simply because they want to demonize conservatives and republicans. They target their voter bases emotions, not their intelligence, as it brings in more votes. Dems are the party of liars, cheats, and outright socialists, and will do ANYTHING and say ANYTHING to get into and stay in power. That’s all they care about. Their primary goal, evil as it is, is destruction of America as a world power. That’s the only thing stopping their One World Government… Read more »




Good article, but you are a bit off base in thinking about the high population areas. Yes those in VA are always going to be heavily demcratic but look at the previous years comparisons in terms of percentage that went for McAuliffe this time versus Biden last year or the Dem governor in 2017. Youngkin made some strides. Hopefully they stick next year across the nation.