In his first year in office, President Joe Biden has had a difficult time implementing his “Build Back Better” agenda. With no progress towards his goals of “shutting down the virus” or economic recovery, it’s clear that Biden’s agenda needs to garner some momentum before the 2022 midterms.
Unfortunately for him, the results of the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election do the exact opposite.
The election of Republican governor Glenn Youngkin in Richmond indicates a coming “red wave” for the 2022 midterms—one that spells certain trouble for Biden’s already struggling agenda. In an off-year election cycle that nonetheless attracted significant national attention, the Virginia gubernatorial election saw the highest voter turnout in recent history.
Virginia had not elected a Republican governor since 2009 and has sent its electoral votes in favor of the Democrat presidential nominee for sixteen years. Youngkin’s victory in the blue-leaning state sent purple and red state politicians in D.C. tangible evidence of Biden’s dwindling support.
Naturally, those in support of Biden’s agenda, predominantly coming from solid blue states, saw Youngkin’s win as a sign to expedite their efforts to pass “Build Back Better.” The only explanation for this is that they know the midterms will be poor. So, in passing this grandiose legislation, they would use that as a way to satisfy and galvanize their base in the hopes of increasing turnout to offset their coming losses in 2022. However, with Democrats occupying majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, they may be running thin on excuses with merit enough to increase their base voter turnout.
Further, the administration that promises to “Build Back Better” has provided minimal improvement on the COVID pandemic still amongst us. Biden’s COVID response agenda has proven itself ineffective with cases in the U.S. skyrocketing. Even Biden himself concedes the limits to his efforts in “shutting down the virus” by saying, “There is no federal solution to the pandemic.” If there is to be no attempt at a federal solution, then there certainly won’t be any cooperation or relationship-building between the White House and Congress.
Correlation does not always imply causation. Correlating circumstances in politics, however, can dig a grave too deep for politicians to climb out of, especially during an election year. Youngkin’s win in Virginia signaled devastating losses for Democrats in 2022. This, coupled with Biden’s federal concession to COVID, means that the President’s difficult job of producing meaningful results for the American people got significantly harder.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.