GOP’s ‘Glenn Youngkin model’ pulls to a halt on Pennsylvania’s turnpike
Last fall, members of the GOP’s old guard consulting class and their friends in the conservative media sprang to a new game book for winning in the post-Trump era without the embarrassing conspiracies and far-right flirtations that sullied their mark.
This top-of-the-line machine included all the bells and whistles and came with a chest full of cash for consultant-rewarding ad buys. It would provide everything the DC GOP thought its core voters wanted (school board culture war, lib possession, #gain) paired with the attributes suburban voters were looking for (the skill spectrum, no tweets embarrassing, a whispered acknowledgment that he does not really believe all the crazy stuff and the image of a family man looking good in a tech vest).
The wizards of the brand behind this new model even went media tour to attract new customers likely to want to purchase their services.
Unfortunately for GOP publicists, model Glenn Youngkin stalled on the Pennsylvania turnpike on Friday night when David McCormick, with his Bride named by Trump standing by his side, conceded his senatorial campaign. McCormick was edged out by Dr. Mehmet Oz and the Trump playbook that Republican voters have become familiar with.
Technical vests, we barely knew you.
“Dave,” as his consultants referred to McCormick with a familiar touch, everyonewas the laboratory-created replica meant to prove Glenn Youngkin’s model hypothesis.
Like Glenn, he was a handsome hedge fund CEO. Like Glenn, he’s done enough of a Location favorable to MAGA cope. Like Glenn, he has walked a tightrope when it comes to the truly goofy voter fraud hysteria that could scare suburban moms. Hell, he even hired Jeff Roe, the G.O.P. It Boy who claimed to have designed this new prototype.
McCormick was so adept at using his money to work on both sides of the intra-MAGA divide that he brought in despicable white nationalist Trump administration expatriates such as Stephen Miller without extinguishing the globalist Masters of the Universe donors who just want a tax on deferred interest. break and a buddy in Washington.
At the start of the race, his biggest challenger from the right gave up after being embroiled in a scandal and for a while it seemed like it was all happening Dave. . . until he actually has to start campaigning for the job.
You see, the one big flaw with the Glenn Youngkin model is that it was never really road tested.
Glenn was chosen in a convention, not a primary, so he didn’t have to face the entire GOP electorate. Moreover, his opponents did not raise money to compete with him. And running for a state office, rather than a federal office, gave him some cover when he ducked and worked his way around the latest burning Trump-induced national issues.
This does not detract from Youngkin’s skills as a candidate or his campaign strategy. That’s just observing reality: The backdrop in which Youngkin was running in 2021 was very different from what GOP Senate candidates were going to face in the primaries in 2022.
And once Glenn Youngkin’s model faced real Republican voters and real intra-party competition, its flaws were exposed.
McCormick was unable to answer repeated questions about election fraud and what he would do in Washington if another election challenge arose. His ability to deftly avoid the culture war issues that put people off in the suburbs was delayed because he was forced to engage with a Trump-endorsed adversary who actually had money to compete and another upstart base flamethrower who was more in touch with the base.
In the end, McCormick came just short. Advocates of the model might argue that this was proof that their playbook could still work. And once in a while, in fractured primaries, it can happen. But another way to look at the race in Pennsylvania is that model Glenn Youngkin got just under a third of the vote, with the other two-thirds split among MAGA candidates, with the biggest share going to Trump-endorsed Dr Oz. and even – further Kathy Barnette. On the same ballot, a crazed insurgent who dresses as a cosplay soldier beat an entire bunch of super-MAGAs to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination in a big way.
IIn the end, what we discovered is something quite obvious to anyone who was careful from the start.
Glenn Youngkin’s model is fragile and can only survive in the most favorable environments. The Republican base angry after the loss in 2020 might have been willing to board if they hadn’t been given a better alternative, but when in 2022 when they have a slew of options on the field, they’re clearly looking to choose one more. . . muscle product.
At the start of the primary season, GOP voters sent a clear message. They don’t want to turn the page. They do not want to merge their desires with those of the donor class. They ain’t interested in what the DC veterans cucked, the National exam let’s leave Trump behind, and Mitch McConnell’s consultants are trying to force-feed them.
They are not looking for a new model. They are always satisfied with the last one.