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Editorial: Does Trump need Youngkin on ticket? Probably not

Governor has been pushed as VP pick, but does his record suggest he would benefit GOP?

Somebody from Gov. Youngkin’s office seems to have been whispering sweet nothings into the ears of receptive media outlets, intimating the governor could well be Donald Trump’s vice-presidential pick.

We have no direct line to the thinking of the 45th president, and have no way of knowing. But, even though we applauded the election of Youngkin in 2021, we think it would be a curious thing were he selected as the vice-presidential nominee.

That November 2021 victory over Terry McAuliffe has been followed by a decidedly spotty record as Virginia’s chief executive. Youngkin has had only limited – very limited – success in his dealings with the General Assembly; managed to see Democrats win both houses in 2023 (as he was busy running about the country test-driving his own presidential bid); and his administration’s performance over the proposed arena plan in Alexandria was an embarrassment coming from someone whose main claim to fame is his supposed business acumen.

If Donald Trump is paying attention to those details, they would cause red flags all over the place. But Trump is usually no detail guy, so who knows?

(As one Democratic wag noted to us, the biggest handicap Youngkin might face is that he’s taller than Trump. Few presidents of the modern era, Trump included, want to be overshadowed, physically, by those in their orbit.)

Republicans believe that Virginia, which has gone into the Democratic camp the last four presidential elections, could be in play this year. We’ll see. But think of it this way: If Trump wins Virginia (which he lost by 10 points in 2020), it likely would be part of a electoral landslide for him. If it’s a close race nationally, there’s virtually no way Republicans will secure the state.

In either scenario, Youngkin’s presence on, or absence from, the ticket would not make much of a difference.