Too soon? Internet sees run on domain names anticipating Youngkin White House bid

Virginia governor-elect's star rose overnight as he led a ticket that flipped Virginia red after years of Democratic predominance.

Updated: November 3, 2021 - 10:46pm

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That didn't take long.

News outlets had barely begun calling Tuesday's gubernatorial election in Virginia for Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin before a number of pundits and political operatives began speculating about a possible White House run in the political newcomer's near future.

But the internet domain name market was out ahead of even these political advance planners.

Over the last several weeks, a number of domain names have been snatched up, including GlennYoungkin2024.com, GlennYoungkin2028.com, GlennYoungkin2032.com, AmericaRunsonYoungkin.com, and pay attention here: DeSantisYoungkin2024.com.

Bringing some suburban women voters back into the GOP fold and appealing to independents while also motivating rural Trump voters to turn out, Youngkin, a political unknown when he started his campaign last year, staged a stunning upset over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Youngkin led a ticket that swept the races for the three top statewide offices in Virginia, where Republicans had not won a statewide election since 2009. The GOP also flipped the House of Delegates, turning a Democratic 55-45 majority into a 52-48 Republican advantage.

With a faction of the Republican Party ready to pivot away from the polarizing Donald Trump in 2024 (in addition to a larger faction excited about no one but Trump), some, like New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, wasted no time sympathetically floating Youngkin as a possible GOP standard-bearer:

To many, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is the logical heir apparent to the MAGA policy legacy. The Sunshine State governor embodies a certain Trump-like fighting style that he has employed frequently against the media, his critics, and the Biden administration as he steered his state through the coronavirus pandemic without wrecking its economy.

Now, some eyes are turning toward Youngkin, whose somewhat more genteel persona made him a palatable, unthreatening candidate with crossover appeal in a blue-leaning state with a large population of federal government employees and contractors in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

For his part, the former president, who has continued to strongly hint but not confirm that he is thinking about a 2024 run for the White House, has updated his followers a number of times since Tuesday drawing out his connection to Youngkin's victory.

"I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin," wrote Trump in a note sent just after 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday. "Without you, he would not have been close to winning. The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before."

On Wednesday morning, he emphasized the words of radio host John Fredericks, who said, "If there were no Trump in this election, there would be no Glenn Youngkin."