In response to the Dominion query, Mr. Youngkin mentioned, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most important issue we’re going to talk about right now.” He laid out “five steps to restore our trust” in elections.

A former co-chief govt of the Carlyle Group, Mr. Youngkin has spent at least $5.5 million of his personal cash on the race. Part of his enchantment to Republicans is that within the basic election, he may theoretically match the spending of the main Democrat, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Polls show that Mr. McAuliffe, with the benefit of identify recognition from an earlier time period, has a hefty lead over three Democratic rivals going into their social gathering major on June 8.

To many observers, it was the 2013 race received by Mr. McAuliffe that started the rout of Virginia Republicans. Ahead of that election, social conservatives gained management of the G.O.P. central committee, canceled a major and selected one in every of their very own, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, at a Tea Party-flavored conference.

Mr. Cuccinelli misplaced to Mr. McAuliffe, a Democratic fund-raiser and pal of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s — thus starting Republicans’ years within the wilderness.

“That’s a direct result of the Cuccinelli heist, if you will,” mentioned Chris Peace, a Republican former state lawmaker. “Much of the old guard, the center-right of the party, was pushed out.”

Four years later, the social gathering’s nominee for governor in 2017, Ed Gillespie, misplaced decisively after making a Trumpian effort to stir concern of crimes dedicated by undocumented immigrants. The subsequent 12 months, the social gathering’s Senate nominee, Corey Stewart, ran on preserving Confederate statues — and misplaced in a landslide.

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