NRL News

Virginia Gov. Youngkin’s PAC will spend $1.4 million on ads pushing the abortion issue

by | Oct 13, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Gov. Glen Youngkin with Karen Cross (left) and Olivia Gans Turner, President of Virginia Society for Human Life

Virginia is one of five states that hold general elections in oddnumbered years, when there isn’t a presidential or congressional race.

In 2021 pro-life Glen Youngkin defeated the former Democratic governor pro-abortion Terry McAuliffe in a stunning upset. He became the state’s first Republican governor since Bob McDonnell prevailed in 2009.

In so doing, Youngkin carried many demographics that Republicans have lost or carried narrowly. The famous “gender gap” is always the Republicans’ failure among women, but Youngkin buried McAuliffe among white women. {According to a graphic on Meet the Press}

White women, who made up 38 percent of voters in Virginia, sided with Youngkin by 14 points, 57 percent to 43 percent. (In 2017, it was just by 3 points, 51 percent to 48 percent.)

Now, with the November 7th elections fast approaching, Youngkin is (as they say) pulling out all the stops to flip the Democratic-led state Senate and increase the GOP majority in the House of Delegates. All 40 seats in the Virginia Senate and all 100 in the House are on the ballot and to pass legislation—including pro-life measures—Youngkin needs Republican control of both.

‘Mr. Youngkin, a wealthy former financial executive, has raised record sums for the Spirit of Virginia, his political committee supporting legislative candidates,” Trip Gabriel wrote on September 13. “The group says it pulled in $3.3 million in August and has raised $12 million since March. It is underwriting a tour of swing districts with Mr. Youngkin urging supporters to sign the side of a bus to show their commitment to voting early starting Sept. 22.”

{“During this year’s session, Democrats had a four-seat edge in the state Senate and Republicans had a four-seat edge in the House of Delegates,” Gabriel writes for the New York Times. “The PAC’s ads are focused on what it sees as 17 battleground races.”}

Fast forward to October 10 and we pick up this story by Dave Ress, appearing in the Richmond Times-Dispatch carrying this headline: “Youngkin’s PAC sets $1.4 million ad push on abortion issue.”

The lead is very instructive:

Republican General Assembly candidates don’t always stress their abortion stands when wooing swing voters, but Gov. Glenn Youngkin‘s political action committee is spending big money to do just that.


In its bid to flip the Democratic-led state Senate and widen the GOP majority in the House of Delegates, Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC is launching a $1.4 million statewide ad campaign to lean into an issue that Democrats have been campaigning fiercely on.

It’s an effort to directly counter a central campaign message from Democratic candidates, the PAC says

That Democratic campaign message is the false claim that “GOP control of both House and Senate would clear the way for an outright ban on abortions.” The television ad also correctly says that Democrats—pro-abortion to a man/woman—”don’t want any limits on abortion.”

But try pinning down any Democratic with this simple question: “Where is the point in pregnancy that you say ‘this goes too far; I can’t support abortion at this stage.’” You’ll get a hundred variations of the same evasion: it’s a “woman’s decision.”

But for all the Democrat’s talk about 15 weeks being a “stalking horse for an outright ban or the still tighter limits some other states have enacted,” Youngkin’s position is crystal-clear:

“I have been really clear — I am supportive of a bill to protect life at 15 weeks when a baby can feel pain, with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. Fifteen weeks. That’s where we are,” Youngkin said.

“That’s what we’re going to work for — to protect life at 15 weeks.”

It’s 25 days until November 7th. A lot of lessons (some true, some false) will be drawn, based on the outcome in Virginia.

Categories: Politics