Will Glenn Youngkin Run For President?

Donors and influential people are starting to look at the Virginia governor as a possible dark horse.

Written by David Zimmermann

What’s happening: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has not ruled himself out of the 2024 GOP presidential primary as speculation grows. Top GOP donors are reportedly considering him as an alternative to former President Donald Trump after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis failed to match Trump in the polls. One megadonor gave $2 million to Youngkin’s PAC.

The talks: Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch repeatedly urged Youngkin to run as Fox grows skeptical of DeSantis’s chances. For now, Youngkin says he’s “focused on 2023,” meaning Virginia’s November elections for the state House and Senate.

  • Democrats see it coming: Democratic lawmakers in Virginia fear that the governor will run if the GOP wins the state Legislature. So far, Youngkin is outpacing the Democratic Party in funds.

His platform: While Trump endorsed his gubernatorial candidacy, Youngkin was able to win over Trump voters in Virginia without leaning too heavily into the MAGA message. Instead, he ran on a parental rights platform and focused on woke policies in public education.

It looks promising: In a historically blue state, Youngkin won with a two-point lead against his opponent in 2021 and reached a record-high approval rating among Virginians in July. A poll from this month showed him beating President Joe Biden in a hypothetical Virginia match.

Why it matters: Whether Youngkin runs for president largely depends on how well Virginia’s 2023 elections go for Republicans. The GOP hopes that Youngkin’s influence translates into state Legislature wins. If that happens and Youngkin throws his hat into the presidential ring, donors and other influential figures will be eager to support someone besides Trump.

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