The race for Virginia governor has emerged as the nation’s first prominent test of voter reaction to the debate around critical race theory, with the GOP nominee seeking to tap into visceral pushback, largely among Republican voters, to the idea that America is structurally tilted in favor of white people.
Glenn Youngkin, a private-equity executive and political newcomer, is one of many GOP candidates nationwide to call for a ban on teaching the disputed academic framework in schools. The outcome of Mr. Youngkin’s race this November will give clues to the power that the issue holds ahead of the country’s midterm elections next year.
Mr. Youngkin is responding to a furor over race in Loudoun County, including how teachers talk about America’s racial history. The county connects suburban Northern Virginia, which leans toward Democrats, with the state’s more rural west, which is more conservative.