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Trump: Youngkin 'would have lost by 15 points without MAGA'

Former President Trump says if he had not supported Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin, the new governor-elect would have lost by a sizable margin in Tuesday's election. 

"I've heard Virginia is blue, but I've never believed it was blue," Trump said during an interview on local radio in Virginia on Wednesday morning, according to Politico reporter Meridith McGraw. "Without MAGA he would have lost by 15 points, more ... instead of giving us credit they say, 'Oh he's more popular than Trump.'" 

Youngkin defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in Virginia's gubernatorial election, thanks largely to a boom in support from suburban voters and higher margins of victory in rural areas that Trump won during the 2020 presidential contest despite losing the state as a whole by 10 points.

Trump endorsed Youngkin, who at the time said he was "honored" to have been endorsed by the former president, though the Republican businessman campaigned largely on local issues such as education and lowering taxes. 

"Let's climb that hill together. Let's reinvigorate our future, let's reinvigorate this amazing commonwealth of Virginia. Together, together, together, together we can build a new day, a new day for Virginians where yes, we soar and we never settle," Youngkin said during his victory speech

The chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a coalition of conservative House members, sent a memo to his colleagues on Tuesday saying Youngkin's successful campaign strategy should serve as a model for the party going into the midterm elections next year.

"Parents brought real energy in Virginia, and we would be wise to listen and seek to understand their concerns," Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) wrote. "Those concerns cannot be addressed only with policies we traditionally associate with 'education.'"

Before Tuesday's race had even been called, Trump began taking credit for Youngkin's surging popularity in the state and nightlong lead. 

"I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin. Without you, he would not have been close to winning," the former president said in a statement. "The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before."

Trump also used Youngkin's victory to push a repeated but false claim that voter fraud in Virginia and other states led to a "rigged" election in 2020. 

"I don't believe we lost Virginia and I think they tried to get away with murder in Fairfax," Trump reportedly said during Wednesday's radio interview. "They were doing something in Fairfax then gave up - too many eyes."

Outbrain