President Donald Trump celebrated the victory of Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin in the Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday.
“The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before,” Trump wrote in a statement. “Glenn will be a great governor.”
Trump endorsed Youngkin in the race and encouraged voters to support him, but he did not host a campaign rally for the candidate in a state where President Joe Biden won by a ten point margin over the former president in 2020.
With 79 percent of precincts reporting, Youngkin is leading his Democrat challenger, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, by nearly ten points.
Trump attributed Youngkin’s win to the same Make America Great Again coalition that supported him for president.
“I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin,” he wrote. “Without you, he would not have been close to winning.”
Trump also taunted McAuliffe for spending most of his campaign focusing on him, arguing that it only helped Youngkin.
“All McAuliffe did was talk Trump, Trump, Trump and he lost! What does that tell you, Fake News?” Trump asked. “I guess people running for office as Democrats won’t be doing that too much longer.”
The president argued he never had to rally in Virginia because of McAuliffe’s attempt to tie him to Youngkin.
“I didn’t even have to go rally for Youngkin, because McAuliffe did it for me,” he wrote.
Trump did a roughly 10 minute telephone rally for Youngkin on Monday night, just hours before the polls opened on Tuesday morning, urging his base to get out to the polls.
“We have a great relationship and he’s a fantastic guy,” Trump said, praising Youngkin’s “tremendous success” as a businessman.
Youngkin’s victory sends a message to Democrats in the commonwealth they are losing support in a state that has elected a Democrat governor since 2014.
President Joe Biden campaigned twice in person for McAuliffe, but it was not enough to revive his slumping campaign.
Biden signaled confidence that McAuliffe would win just hours before the polls closed in Virginia.
“We’re gonna win,” Biden said in a near whisper, as if sharing a secret, during a press conference in Glasgow, Scotland, lowering his face into his microphone. “I think we’re going to win in Virginia.”