Youngkin Out of 2024 Race? Not So Fast

Virginia's GOP governor is reportedly considering a run after all
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Don't Count Glenn Youngkin Out of 2024 Race
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks to reporters inside the rotunda of the state Capitol building on Feb. 25 in Richmond, Virginia.   (AP Photo/John C. Clark, File)

Last month, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin left the distinct impression that he wouldn't be running for the GOP nomination. This month, a much different narrative has emerged. First, Youngkin's campaign dropped a video on social media of the governor speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that looked very much like a campaign spot. "That's a presidential ad," Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, tells WVIR. "It has nothing to do with Virginia." In Sabato's view, the video is Youngkin's way of making sure he stays in the 2024 conversation.

On the heels of that video comes a story at Axios reporting that Youngkin is indeed serious about a possible run. "He's reconsidering," an anonymous source described as close to the governor tells the outlet. "He'd be in his own lane: He's not never-Trump, and he's not Trump-light." Part of the calculus appears to be that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, expected to launch his own campaign sometime this week, isn't exactly lighting up the polls in the race against Donald Trump.

All of the above is quite a change from April, when headlines such as this one appeared in the New York Times: "Youngkin Gives 2024 Presidential Run the Cold Shoulder." The stories emerged after Youngkin told reporters that he intended to focus on Virginia in 2023 and the state's legislative races. But as Sabato points out, that doesn't he mean he can't enter the race late in the year or perhaps in January. "He's hoping that Republicans will be looking for a fresh face" by then, says Sabato. (More Glenn Youngkin stories.)

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