Why the ‘Glenn Youngkin model’ failed in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary: conservative

Why the ‘Glenn Youngkin model’ failed in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary: conservative
Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2015, Wikimedia Commons

On Friday, June 3, former hedge fund executive Dave McCormick conceded to Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary. A recount was underway in that nail-biter of a primary, with Oz, according to the Associated Press, leading McCormick by a mere 972 votes. But McCormick decided that the recount would only confirm Oz’s narrow victory, and now, Oz — who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump — will officially be going up against the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, in the general election.

Never Trump conservative Tim Miller views McCormick’s campaign as an example of the “Glenn Youngkin model” failing in Pennsylvania. When Republican Youngkin ran for governor of Virginia in 2021, he didn’t run as an outright Never Trumper but didn’t run as an in-your-face ultra-MAGA Republican either; Youngkin distanced himself from Trump without being overtly critical of the former president.

It worked: Youngkin defeated the Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe, by 2%, in what has arguably become the most Democrat-friendly state in the South. And Youngkin is now governor of Virginia.

But what worked for Youngkin in Virginia, Miller argues in an article published by The Bulwark on June 6, didn’t work for McCormick in Pennsylvania.

“Last fall, the members of the old guard GOP consultant class and their friends in the conservative media gushed about a new playbook for winning in the post-Trump era without the embarrassing conspiracy-mongering and far-right flirtations that were sullying their brand,” Miller explains. “They called their shiny new toy the Glenn Youngkin model. This top-of-the-line machine included all the bells and whistles and came with a trunk full of cash for consultant-enriching ad buys.”

Miller continues, “It would provide everything that the D.C. GOP thought their base voters wanted — school board culture-warring, lib-owning, #winning — paired with the attributes suburban swing voters were looking for: the specter of competence, no embarrassing tweets, a whispered acknowledgment that he doesn’t really believe all the crazy stuff, and the image of a family man who looks good in a tech vest.”

McCormick, Miller notes, was the “lab-created replica meant to prove the Glenn Youngkin model’s hypothesis.” But the “Glenn Youngkin model,” according to Miller, “stalled out on the Pennsylvania Turnpike” when McCormick conceded to Oz on June 3.

“Like Glenn, (McCormick) was a handsome hedge fund CEO,” Miller observes. “Like Glenn, he made enough of a MAGA-friendly pitch to get by. Like Glenn, he walked a tightrope when it came to the really kooky election fraud hysteria that might scare off suburban moms. Hell, he even hired Jeff Roe, the GOP it-boy who claimed to have engineered this new prototype.”

Miller adds, “McCormick was so deft at using his cash to work both sides of the intra-MAGA divide that he brought on despicable White nationalist Trump Administration expats such as Stephen Miller without turning off the globalist Masters of the Universe donors who just want a carried interest tax break and a pal in Washington.”

In Pennsylvania, Miller observes, the “defects” of the “Youngkin model” were “exposed” when McCormick “faced actual Republican voters and real intra-party competition.”

“In the end,” Miller writes, “McCormick came up just short…. The Glenn Youngkin model is fragile and can only survive in the most favorable environments.”

Miller, a scathing critic of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement, wraps up his ad by stressing that it’s wishful thinking to say that the GOP has moved on from Trumpism.

“Early in the primary season,” Miller observes, “GOP voters have sent a clear message. They don’t want to turn the page. They don’t want to fuse their desires with those of the donor class. They aren’t interested in what the cucked D.C. veterans, the National Review let’s-put-Trump-behind-us types, and Mitch McConnell’s consultants are trying to force-feed them. They are not looking for a new model. They are still happy with the last one.”

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