Virginia Gubernatorial Vote: Republican Youngkin Wins Race in Setback to Democrats
04:43 GMT 03.11.2021 (Updated: 08:34 GMT 04.11.2021)
Donald Trump endorsed Glenn Youngkin earlier this year, while President Joe Biden campaigned heavily for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in recent days and weeks.
Republican Glenn Youngkin is the projected winner of the gubernatorial elections in Virginia,
according to an NBC News report.
The report claimed that "in [a] blow to Democrats", Youngkin "defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia's high-profile election for governor Tuesday".
This comes as Youngkin was earlier projected by CNN to win Virginia's gubernatorial race, in what many see as an early referendum on President Joe Biden's job performance.
Youngkin is tipped to win the race by 51% to 48.3% with more than 95% of votes already counted.
The race is seen as an early reflection of the electorate's mood towards Biden since he beat then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 November vote.
17 October 2021, 14:12 GMT
The outcome of Virginia's event is also believed to possibly set the tone for the 2022 US midterm elections.
Youngkin has, meanwhile, called his victory a "defining moment", telling supporters that "together we will change the trajectory of this commonwealth". He pledged to immediately improve schools, saying, "there's no time to waste. Our kids can't wait. We work in real people time not government time".
The 54-year-old's agenda also focuses on the issues which Republicans say may affect voter turnout in the 2022 midterm elections
, including public safety, election integrity, and freedom from the coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates.
Absentee ballots will be accepted until noon on 5 November and the election results will be certified on 15 November. There are 5.9 million registered voters in Virginia, some 1.1 million voted via mail-in ballots, according to Virginia's Department of Elections.
New Jersey Elections
Youngkin's projected win comes as incumbent Democratic Governor Phil Murphy remains locked in a tight race with Republican Jack Ciattarelli in New Jersey's gubernatorial elections.
Both contenders have asked supporters to be ready for a longer wait than expected in terms of vote counting.
"While we're gonna have to wait a little while longer than we had hoped, we're going to wait for every vote to be counted, and that's how our democracy works", Murphy said.
Ciattarelli, for his part, noted that he had "wanted to come out here tonight and tell you that we won".
"But I'm here to tell ya that we're winning. We want every legal vote counted. And you all know the way the VBMs (vote by mail) work and the provisionals work; we've gotta have time to make sure that every legal vote is counted", he added.