While we analyze what went wrong in Virginia’s election — and there are plenty of people to blame — one thing that cannot be overlooked is the fact that the Republican National Committee refused the Republican Party of Virginia money.
It’s not up for discussion. News of the RNC refusing to provide financial support surfaced long before the election. RPV officials met with Ronna McNeil’s staff in the RNC and requested a match of how much the Democrat National Committee would be committing to the state party. This match would have added a cool $1.1M to the RPV war chest.
The RNC refused to grant the RPV’s request. They would not only lose the $1 million match but also any money.
Remember that the Virginia GOP held on to a narrow lead in the House of Delegates at the time of the meeting and was within striking distance of winning the Senate. It doesn’t take a degree in political science to understand that the more money you put into a campaign the better it will turn out. The national party’s financial support could have been a game-changer in many close races.
The 2021 win of Glenn Youngkin for governor was also a bright spot in the Republican Party’s general results, which were less than stellar under Ronna McDaniel. This alone should have been enough to motivate the national party to become involved in order to win both 2023 and 2024.
Ronna McDaniel seems to be refusing to admit that the RNC chose not participate in this election and has deflected responsibility for Tuesday’s result.
Larry O’Connor of Townhall, who hosts a morning radio show in Washington, D.C., conducted a brief interview with McDaniel following the GOP presidential debate on Wednesday night. O’Connor asked McDaniel about the results of the Virginia election, and she said that the state had not asked for help.
LARRY O’CONNOR: What’s your analysis of the results in Virginia, though?
RONNA MCDANIEL: You know, the RNC is not a state committee. We’re a federal committee, right? Your candidates can take unlimited state dollars and your governor can take unlimited state dollars. And he actually said, ‘We don’t need you guys here.’
Wait, what? It is clear that financial assistance was requested, but denied. She.
What’s going on? Youngkin’s own PAC Spirit of Virginia pours money into statewide elections. Although it is possible that Youngkin’s PAC did not ask for assistance from the national party to help fund statewide campaigns, the RPV clearly asked. Ronna McDaniel’s statement to O’Connor seems to be an attempt to shift the blame for Tuesday’s failures to Glenn Youngkin.
It was unhelpful for McDaniel, if true.
Rich Anderson, the chairman of the RPV appeared on O’Connor’s program Friday and confirmed that he met with McDaniel’s employees, asked for financial support, and walked out with nothing.
NEW DEVELOPMENT JUST NOW ON WMAL@RichAndersonRPV, Chair of the Virginia GOP, had a different story than Ronna McDaniel’s claim.
He says he requested financial assistance from @GOP for this week’s elections and they were denied.
— L A R R Y (@LarryOConnor) November 10, 2023
Anderson gave more details about his conversations with the RNC. He said he was informed that the RNC did not have the resources available to assist in an off-cycle campaign because they were “gearing up for” 2024. According to Anderson, the best strategy to prepare for 2024 would be to ignore a key battleground state in 2020.
Anderson’s money quote
The last thing I’d do is to say, “We don’t require your help.”
Why is Ronna McDaniel implying that they did so? The Spirit of Virginia PAC does not represent the Republican Party of Virginia. She knows this. She knew what O’Connor meant with his question, and she shifted the blame for the disappointing result by blaming Glenn Youngkin. Glenn Youngkin, the same Glenn Youngkin that defied all odds to defeat Terry McAuliffe in 2016, campaigned relentlessly to help Republicans gain victory in 2023 and returned Virginia to battleground status.
Let’s certainly blame him. McDaniel’s apparent deflection of the issue does raise questions about what “gearing up” for 2024 would look like if 2023’s game plan was to stay on the sidelines, and let non-RNC groups try to win on their own.