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Fresno Political Experts Say Virginia Win Is Model for GOP in Other Races



Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin greets supporters early Wednesday at a party in Chantilly, Va., after his election victory. (AP/Andrew Harnik)
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Election night saw blue Virginia swing red.

“Youngkin did a good job of distancing himself from Trump without upsetting the Republican base.” — Democratic political consultant Jason Carns

The Old Dominion state elected Republican political neophyte Glenn Youngkin over presumptive favorite Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat.

What does the GOP win mean in a state that favored President Joe Biden by 10 points in 2020? GV Wire asked local political experts.

To Trump or Not to Trump?

How to handle support from the Donald Trump base could be the key to winning Republican elections in 2022, they said.

“Virginia in modern history has voted for the party not in the White House with one exception. That Virginia continued this trend is not a surprise. And Youngkin did a good job of distancing himself from Trump without upsetting the Republican base. It is certainly a formula other Republicans will try going forward,” said Fresno Democratic political consultant Jason Carns.

Guillermo Moreno, a conservative host on Talk Radio 1550 KXEX, agreed that following a “non-Trumpian” model could work in some states.

“The Republican Party learned to keep Trump at bay and just talk about the issues and you’ll find success. The end game, though, for the future is, will the left listen? The left will not listen because they’ve proven to everyone that they believe that they are the smartest people in the room — even when they clearly have made bad and wrong decisions,” Moreno said.

What the Local Party Heads Say

Fred Vanderhoof, chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party, was ecstatic about the win.

Fred Vanderhoof

“California is a much tougher situation. (But) I think that you’re going to see a lot more Hispanics coming to vote our way.” — Fred Vanderhoof, Fresno County Republican Party chairman

“All Republicans (and) conservatives all around the country feel very happy with this outcome,” Vanderhoof said.

Vanderhoof pointed to Youngkin’s Hispanic support. He is optimistic that those results could be replicated in California.

California is a much tougher situation. (But) I think that you’re going to see a lot more Hispanics coming to vote our way,” Vanderhoof said.

Ruben Zarate, the chairman of the Fresno County Democratic Party, sees his party’s loss in Virginia as following a predictable mid-term form.

“A president’s party typically has trouble in the years after they are elected,” Zarate said. “Congress needs to pass Biden’s Build Back Better Plan and the Voter Protection bills. These are all issues the Americans want and need.”

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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