ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia appeared at a campaign event on Tuesday afternoon for his counterpart in Georgia, Brian Kemp, helping to bolster Governor Kemp’s re-election pitch to voters.
The event, in Alpharetta’s idyllic town center, brought out more than 200 conservative voters from around Georgia, several with hats, T-shirts and signs bearing Mr. Kemp’s campaign logo. In his speech, Mr. Youngkin pressed for conservative voters to turn out en masse on Election Day and pointed out the competitive politics of the two Republican governors’ states.
Mr. Youngkin also focused on the issues that helped him get elected. Education and the economy, he said, represent “the failed policy of the progressive liberals.”
“We all know that it has failed,” Mr. Youngkin said. “This is not a Republican view. This is an American view.”
Mr. Kemp, too, underlined the parties’ differences in policy, championing his decision to defy public health guidance during the earliest waves of the Covid-19 pandemic to keep businesses open in Georgia. In addition, he laid out a policy plan for a second term that would include using surplus funds from the state budget to cut property and income taxes.
The State of the 2022 Midterm Elections
With the primaries over, both parties are shifting their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.
Georgia has played host to a parade of Republicans who have kept former President Donald J. Trump at arm’s length. Mr. Kemp in 2020 resisted Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss in the election in Georgia, and this year he easily fended off a Trump-backed challenger in the primary, former Senator David Perdue.
In early September, Mr. Kemp campaigned with former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina. And before Mr. Kemp’s primary, former Vice President Mike Pence headlined a Kemp campaign event.
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Mr. Youngkin, a former private equity executive who defeated Terry McAuliffe, a former governor, in the November 2021 election for Virginia governor, has traveled across the country in recent weeks on behalf of Republican candidates for state office. In late August he campaigned with Tudor Dixon, the Republican running to unseat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. In early September, Mr. Youngkin appeared alongside Joe Lombardo, the Republican candidate for governor in Nevada.
Mr. Youngkin’s tours have only fueled speculation that he is angling for a spot in a future Republican presidential primary. However, in a news conference after the rally on Tuesday, Mr. Youngkin downplayed such talk.
“I don’t really think about it,” he said. “I’m focused on 2022, being the best governor I can possibly be in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Mr. Kemp leads his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, by more than five percentage points in a majority of polls of the race. Even so, Mr. Kemp has implored his supporters to consider the network of Democratic organizers and party leaders who had worked to turn out the vote and powered the party’s gains in the 2020 presidential election and 2021 U.S. Senate runoffs.
When asked by The New York Times during a news conference if he still had concerns about Republicans’ ability to match Democrats’ grass-roots turnout efforts, Mr. Kemp replied, “Damn right.”
“I would tell all those people out there: Don’t believe any of these polls,” he said, turning his attention to his Democratic rivals. “You cannot underestimate their ground game.”
He then underlined the millions of dollars that Democrats and their allies have poured on to the airwaves in recent weeks. “We’re never going to outspend them,” he said. “But I do believe we’re going to outwork them.”