Delicate GOP dance for Trump, Youngkin in Virginia gov race

RICHMOND -- Donald Trump called in to a group of his staunchest supporters when he rallied Republicans to vote for Glenn Youngkin in Virginia this week. This may be his closest encounter with campaigning in the 2021 election most closely followed.

Delicate GOP dance for Trump, Youngkin in Virginia gov race

RICHMOND -- Donald Trump called in to a group of his staunchest supporters when he rallied Republicans to vote for Glenn Youngkin in Virginia this week. This may be his closest encounter with campaigning in the 2021 election most closely followed.

Schedules may change during the last weeks of the race but the two are unlikely to be together before the Nov. 2, election against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

"Is Trump coming to Virginia?" Yes. Yes. Youngkin's campaign said Friday that it has no plans to allow surrogates before Election Day.

This dynamic is a reflection of Trump's complex balancing act with Youngkin. It could be a model for any other Republicans facing competitive campaigns in 2022.

Trump is the most beloved figure in GOP politics, and he is keen to stay engaged. Youngkin must get Trump's support out. He cannot afford to give Trump an excuse to abandon him in the final weeks of the race. Youngkin cannot be tied too closely with someone who is not popular in key areas of the state, especially the suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C. and Richmond.

Youngkin avoided the Wednesday event, which also featured Steve Bannon, a longtime Trump strategist. Youngkin could soon be charged with contempt after refusing to cooperate in the investigation of the Capitol riot. After the Republican rally was attended by angry protestors, the emcee claimed that the flag had been flown during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Youngkin later condemned the flag's use.

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