On Wednesday, Republican Glenn Youngkin became the governor of Virginia in a high stakes blow to President Joe Biden and Democrats—and social media had mixed reactions.

Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, had campaigned with both Biden and former President Barack Obama, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Youngkin from prevailing.

Youngkin had an early lead after the polls closed that carried out throughout the evening. McAuliffe missed out on vital counties that Biden won over in 2020.

“All righty Virginia, we won this thing. How much fun,” Youngkin said in his speech.

He also addressed schooling and said the following, in part: “We are going to introduce choice within our public school system... Friends, we’re going to embrace our parents, not ignore them. We’re [going to press] forward with a curriculum that includes listening to parents’ input.”

Here’s what people had to say in appreciation about the win.

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Others had reservations about what the win meant.

The Republican’s eagle-eyed concentration on whipping up parents’ worry and outrage about culture war concerns in Virginia’s schools proved more effective than McAuliffe’s all-out campaign to depict Youngkin as a Trump adherent.

Youngkin falsely claimed that critical race theory – an analytic perspective through which scholars study how the law reproduces racial inequality – is pervasive throughout the state’s educational system (it isn’t even taught).

He also managed to walk a political tightrope by accepting Trump’s endorsement yet never mentioning him in stump speeches or inviting him to campaign with him in person. He created enough ambivalence to appeal to moderate Republicans without casting aside Trump’s supporters.

Further north in New Jersey, Phil Murphy, the Democratic governor, fought to win re-election against his Republican challenger, Jack Ciattarelli. This race is too close to determine, but Ciattarelli is narrowly ahead at less than 1 per cent lead with 98 per cent of ballots counted for.

If Murphy can hold onto his position as governor, he will become the first Democrat re-elected as the state’s governor in 44 years.

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