Republican election wins are pointing to the same conditions that led to the party retaking the House in past years, but the GOP must be sure to keep building on the momentum that has started, Rep. Rob Wittman said on Newsmax Wednesday.
"If you look back to 2009, when Bob McDonnell won the [Virginia] governor's race, and then in 2010 the record numbers of seats that Republicans captured, I think you see the same sort of conditions building now," the Virginia Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
He also agreed that another pattern is emerging, like when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich led the "red wave" of Republicans retaking the House, for the first time in 40 years, in 1994, after Republicans won the governors' races in Virginia and New Jersey.
New Jersey's race between incumbent Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli remains too close to call, and in Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a race widely seen as a slam against President Joe Biden.
But to keep up the momentum, Republicans must make sure that voters see their party is doing better than Democrats on issues that are important to them, like immigration, inflation, and national security, said Wittman.
"We should be able to build on those things and make sure we create the vision, and that is counter to what the Democrats are doing in the House and Senate," said Wittman. "As we see those things happening before us now, especially with what's happening with this reconciliation, building this massive amount of spending, people are concerned about that.
"I think it's a great opportunity for us to build on the victory here in Virginia, and then use that going forward."
Wittman said Youngkin was able to win over McAuliffe, a former Virginia governor, because he was able to "capture people's frustration" over what is going on in the state's schools, with Virginia's "floundering" economy, and with the Democrats' lack of support for law enforcement.
"He was also able to create a vision in people's minds about what the path forward would be," said Wittman. "He's very personable, too.
"You know, I think you people look at a governor just like their next door neighbor, and that is do they trust them? Do they feel comfortable? Do they feel connected? And Glenn did all of those things very effectively on the policies but he is also very personable and someone Virginians could trust."
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