ANNANDALE, Va.—Republican governor Glenn Youngkin (Va.) on Thursday said the balance of power in Washington, D.C., rests on his state's congressional races, telling voters that the "road to the majority in our House of Representatives comes through Virginia."
Youngkin is barnstorming the state ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections, where several Democratic incumbents, weighed down by President Joe Biden's low approval rating, are struggling in the polls. At his latest campaign stop, the Virginia governor hammered Democrats over issues that have moved voters toward Republican candidates in recent months, including inflation, education, and crime.
Biden "let the inflation genie out of the bottle," Youngkin said at a rally for Republican Karina Lipsman, a Ukrainian-born immigrant attempting to unseat Democrat Don Beyer in the state's eighth district. "We have runaway crime in our neighborhoods and [Democrats] demean and demoralize the police."
On schools—an issue that helped propel the governor to victory last November—Youngkin said Democrats want to "push parents out" of the education system.
Youngkin's comments come as the governor has emerged as an asset for Republicans on the campaign trail since his upset win in a state once seen as solidly blue. Enjoying high approval ratings, Youngkin has made recent stops for gubernatorial candidates in Arizona, New York, South Dakota, and Oregon.
In the final days of the cycle, the Virginia governor is now turning his attention toward House races in Virginia, hoping to tilt the scales against three of the country's most vulnerable Democrats: Reps. Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger, and Elaine Luria. As the congresswomen's races have trended red as Election Day approaches, Youngkin has directly targeted them in rallies across the state.
The outcome of the three races could help shift the balance for Republicans in the House: While 35 House races are labeled as toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, a pick-up of 5 of those seats would secure a majority for Republicans.
Lipsman, who is running in the most Democratic congressional district in the state, hammered her Democratic opponent over a report last week that his scheduler was working for the Chinese embassy.
"Don Beyer is officially compromised," Lipsman said at the rally. "We need a leader who is able to get to work on day one to stop our biggest adversaries."
While Lipsman focused on Russia, North Korea, and China, attendees told the Washington Free Beacon that they are worried about illegal immigration.
"All these people being let in so they can buy their votes in the future, it's wrong," said Kevin Cooper, a Virginia resident who emigrated from England and became an American citizen. "I did it the right way and I’ve earned my place in this country."
Astrid Gamez, chairwoman of the Latino National Republican Coalition, said Hispanics who immigrated legally are fed up watching others skip the process.
"These new people come and they can start working right away and it's not fair to anybody," Gamez said.
Immigration, crime, and the economy rank highest among issues for Hispanics, according to recent polling.
"This is about standing up for the values we hold dear," Youngkin said. "We did it last year—you can do it again."
Youngkin, whose rising national profile has raised questions about a potential presidential run in 2024, is attending the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual conference later this month, alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former vice president Mike Pence.