Some GOP Donors Ask: What About Youngkin?

Virginia governor didn't rule out a run but would face complications
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2023 2:26 PM CDT
Big GOP Donors Haven't Given Up on Youngkin
Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks to David Rubenstein during an interview hosted by the Economic Club of Washington on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

It's not a broad-based movement, but major Republican donors are imagining a Republican presidential field with Glenn Youngkin in it. Whispers among party insiders about drafting the Virginia governor grew slightly louder after they witnessed the GOP presidential debate this week, Robert Costa writes in the Washington Post. Youngkin hasn't ruled out a late presidential run, but he told Fox News as recently as Thursday that he's focused on his party sweeping legislative elections in an upcoming vote. "He appears to be leaving the door open," said Thomas Peterffy, a billionaire backer of the governor. "And if Republicans win in Virginia, maybe we can talk him into it."

A last-minute candidacy would face complications. "If you're going to run for president, you can't just put that thing together in a couple months," said GOP Sen. Marco Rubio. Youngkin is already up against October deadlines for getting on the ballot for major primaries. "If he misses some, it's going to compromise the number of delegates he'd be eligible for," said Josh Putnam, a nonpartisan elections expert. Poll results released Friday show Youngkin running behind President Biden in a hypothetical matchup in his own state, but not by much. The University of Mary Washington poll found Virginians preferring the incumbent, 37% to 34%, per WVEC. Sen. Mitt Romney, no fan of the current GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, said he has trouble seeing how Younkin could change the dynamics of the race but added, "If somebody wants to come in, great." (Read more Republican presidential primaries stories.)

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