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Lessons learned from Virginia's Election

Virginia's GOP victories, specifically Gov-elect Youngkin's is a case study for the GOP and Republican candidates everywhere. For those who are unaware, he was not the VA GOP's first choice. For those pressed for time here are some key takeaways: - He did not concede any ground by considering an area unwinnable. - He laid the ground work for his campaign early, pre-primary. - He supported down ballot candidates early in the process. - He kept the focus on state (local) issues and did not try to nationalize his campaign - He went into areas with an open ear and mind and did not spout talking points handed to him by a think-tank.

Why/how did Republicans have such a massive win in Virginia, top three seats and flipping the House of Delegates in Virginia – a state that was deemed beyond Purple, a Blue stronghold? Many people would look at National Politics and say that the Progressives in Congress went too far. I suggest that's a shallow view. If that was the case NJ should have produced the same results. Instead I offer that it was a keen strategy and playbook that were implemented and executed.

First and foremost, teams were put in place and stayed focus on Virginia (local) issues, even the legal teams were already in place before not after the election.

Secondly, no area was considered to be unwinnable; time, energy and resources were put into communities e.g. Richmond and the Hampton roads areas for example. All too often Republicans cede ground and look to gain a few votes at the margin in Urban areas. Tendency has been to count on urban voters to stay home instead of focusing on winning them.

Youngkin et al. Teams did not make that mistake. All to often, we Republicans say, “we can't get that vote, they always vote Democrat”. If we don't invest time and give them an alternative choice, what should we expect? I offer CD15's Hidalgo County as an example within Texas. The RNC and State GOP considered it to be unwinnable so no resources for candidates. Now, look at how things have progressed.

Thirdly, Youngkin and his team went into areas listening to and trying to understand the local issues not regurgitating talking points that they received from some overpaid Think-tank. Instead, they went into area with open ears and mind to fully understand. They looked beyond the easily identifiable problem. They looked at the history of how it developed i.e. the problematic policies of the past and present and then discussed with local people a road-map to fix the issues.

Fourth, local local local. Areas had a team of people familiar and from the area from political consultants to door knockers. It was not a one size fits all: issues in Richmond differ from those in Norfolk and other areas in the state.

So what should we, the GOP at large change in our strategy: - Stop ceding ground and declaring areas unwinnable. Start thinking in terms of the long game and invest resources and time into areas the currently lean Democrat. Resource, plant and grow teams locally. Enough with the fly in & fly out crews. - Think local, local local. State and National level politicians often start locally. Although many races are suppose to be nonpartisan, decisions will be informed by candidates core values. Why are some large cities “hyper” Blue? We don't offer an alternative to residents and generally don't support “good” conservative candidates so they never make it out of the starting block. If your State Board of Education Representative is hyper left leaning, your local School Board should be able to serve as a counter balance. You do not have to have school age children in order to be concerned about what's happening at the School Board. Consider where the bulk of your tax dollars are spent. The children graduating from local schools are a part of your community. I consider city, county and state issues to all be LOCAL issues. Some of the bad laws we have in the State are because City Councils have abdicated their responsibility in resolving city issues and have run to Austin to have State legislators to resolve them. - Finally we need to ACTIVATE. Voter turnout for off year elections should be as high as Congressional and Presidential ones. Here are the final unofficial election results for Guadalupe County: Total Registered Voters 114, 095; Ballots Cast 12, 19; Voter Turnout 11.15% SAD SAD SAD! We voted on changes that will be adopted into the Texas Constitution Isn't Texas suppose to be a State where everything is done Bigger and Better?

Aside VA turnout 55% A somewhat like comparison 2018 TX turnout was 46.3% (Cruz vs Francis O'Rourke aka "Beto")

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