Thus far, national interest in Virginia's legislative elections has been more focused on the person who is not on the ballot — Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin — than the candidates who are running this fall.

Youngkin is investing political and material capital into the Republican effort to win control of the state Senate (where Democrats have a slim two-seat margin) and hold onto their narrow majority in the House of Delegates. Just this week, Youngkin's SuperPAC, the Spirit of Virginia, announced it had raised over $3 million in August. If Republicans do succeed this fall, Youngkin can lay claim to a proven track record of success in a blue state, something that excites establishment Republicans eager to win back suburban swing voters and to find a candidate who can defeat Trump in the GOP primary.

But more important than Youngkin's longshot presidential prospects is his decision to play offense on abortion and essentially set the legislative elections as a referendum on his proposed 15-week ban.

Before we get into the abortion issue, let's take a look at

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