Trump Should Focus on Virginia, Forget Michigan for 2024

While the 2024 General Election is more than a year away, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the heavy favorites to win the nomination of their respective parties. While many traditional swing states have remained closely-contested in recent elections, new states, such as Georgia have emerged as unexpected battlegrounds, and some states that were solidly blue for several cycles, such as Virginia, flipped red during a gubernatorial race.

Following Republican underdog Glenn Younkgin’s upset over nationally-known Democrat and former Clinton advisor Terry McCaullife, Virgina became a new beacon of hope for Republicans planning to conquer new ground in 2024.

Youngkin raised the eyebrows of many megadonors and political pundits alike last month when he randomly tweeted a video that many interpreted as an indication that he is planning a 2024 presidential campaign run. Youngkin has stated that he doesn’t plan to run for president, but he could prove to be a major asset as a vice presidential pick in 2024. Virginia could compensate for former red states that have turned blue, such as Colorado.

In the northeast, Pennsylvania dashed any promising signs for Republicans after Democrats won the open senate seat and the governor’s mansion in 2022.

Meanwhile in the Midwest states, Ohio remains one of the most reliably red states in the Rust Belt since 2016. Wisconsin has reverted to its usual blue shade, with the exception of Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s razor-thin margin of victory over Democratic candidate Mandella Barnes, when Johson won 50.5% to 49.5%. Democrat’s protected the governor’s mansion as Gov. Tony Evers defeated Republican Tim Michels, 51.2% to 47.8%. In a Wisconsin Supreme Court election last month, liberal judge Janet Protasiewicz won a seat on Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court, flipping the body’s ideological majority. Her win over conservative former state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly could have implications for an important abortion case and could ultimately impact redistricting in the state.

Michigan re-elected incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer easily defeated Trump-endorsed Republican opponent Tudor Dixon, 54.5% to 43.9%. Her victory came as a surprise to many following several strict COVID policies that gained Whitmer national scrutiny. A foiled kidnapping plot may have increased support for Whitmer, but either way, Michigan hasn’t shown any signs of hope for the GOP since Biden retook the state against Trump in 2020.

Matt O'Hern
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