Republicans' victory in the highly-watched Virginia governor race is being credited to one particular coalition of voters: white women –– specifically white women who didn't go to college.
On Tuesday (November 3) Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin bested Democrat incumbent Terry McAuliffe, clenching a double-digit swing to the GOP. That was thanks to a 13% shift in white women voters overall to Republicans and a 37% swing among white women who didn't go to college. The results of this group has some worried about next year's mid-term election.
So what made white women voters boot out a sitting governor in a state Joe Biden won by 10 points just one year ago? Experts say it's the conversation about schools, more specifically, Critical Race Theory that pushed white women to vote in Youngkin.
In his campaign, Youngkin made a lot of noise about school curriculums, "parents' rights" about what their kids are taught, and even hyped up claims of one white school board member who pushed to get the late great Toni Morrison's books banned from her district.
And it worked.
"He put together a coalition where he did even better than Trump did with base voters and rural voters, and he improved a lot in the suburbs, where Trump was toxic," former state Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock said on MSNBC. "Which is why he closed that gender gap to single digits, instead of Trump's yawning gender gap."
The Critical Race Theory debate has become a huge sticking point among GOP voters and leaders as many complain teaching kids about America's racist past (and present) is somehow making "white kids feel bad about being white."
Some experts in American history, racial studies, and more say Democrats need to combat the misinformation and take white voters' concerns about CRT in schools seriously –– and include Black voices while doing so.