One important reason why the GOP won in Virginia is that they did the work. Early in the ballot count, Fairfax County started waffling, saying that there won’t be able to count, technical issues, blah blah. But there were Republican observers and lawyers on the ground ready to act. The top lawyer for the GOP was there, marching in, all ready to take depositions and gather evidence. Immediately, the “technical issue” got solved and the votes got counted.
Also, unlike in the CA recall, in VA the GOP actually had a campaign. They isolated a crucial mobilizing issue: schools. School closures and racist education. They beat that drum relentlessly, leaving aside the outdated, stupid free-marketeering slogans. And people responded. Once you notice it’s not 1981 any longer, it becomes easier to connect with voters. This is the GOP of the future. It’s in its infancy and I hope it grows in this direction. Less Reagan, less Bush, and more current, important issues that interest today’s voters.