VIRGINIA (DC News Now) — With Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s school transgender policies getting national attention, the Republican officeholder is also being mentioned as a future presidential contender.
Larry Sabato, the founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said there is no doubt the first-term governor is eying a 2024 run and will appeal to the conservative wing of his party by playing a part of the cultural wars.
“He wants to be president and will accept vice president,” said Sabato of Youngkin. “If you’re a Republican and you want to be on the national ticket in 2024, you’re going to take very conservative and cultural positions and that’s precisely what he’s doing.”
Students across Virginia staged a walkout on Tuesday to criticize Youngkin’s proposed changes to the state’s approach on transgender identification in schools.
These are ideas and proposals that conservatives in presidential primaries love to soak up, Sabato said.
“He has a very conservative position on LGBT rights, on abortion rights, on a wide range of issues that Virginians are on the other side of if you believe surveys,” he said.
Sabado said Youngkin “fundamentally believes in the conservative positions” that other conservatives embrace. “I wouldn’t necessarily call him a cultural warrior. Warrior doesn’t seem to fit him.”
Youngkin wouldn’t be concerned with upsetting voters because by law, governor’s cannot run in consecutive terms, Sabato said.
Sabato said Youngkin actually holds deeply conservative views beyond political expediency.
“It’s a nice marriage of the two sides of this which is the personal, individually determined positions and the political necessities needed to run for president,” he said.