Hung Cao, a retired U.S. Navy captain, won the 11-way Republican primary in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District on May 21. (Hung Cao campaign)

There are any number of reasons why Hung Cao should win in VA-10.  Honor, integrity, character — Cao checks off all the boxes.

There’s something else as well.  If you ask around, the one thing people tell you about Cao is that he gives a damn — an intangible you simply cannot buy.

Cao’s opposition is Rep. Jennifer Wexton, a Pelosi-acolyte whose assuredness that VA-10 would always be a Democratic seat has been reflected in her lackluster campaign style.  Speculation that Wexton’s health has not enabled her to campaign more vigorously in the face of a Republican tidal wave might offer (true) sympathy, but the stark realities of this tidal wave turning into a Republican tsunami are omnipresent.

Cao is going to win this, folks.

Let me offer a few items that show Cao as something more than a one-off in a great environment for Republicans, because if Cao wins?  Cao is going to be there for the next 10 years:

1.  Loudoun County and Critical Race Theory.  Not only was this the issue that propelled Youngkin into the Governor’s Mansion, but Loudoun County is and remains the epicenter for some of the kookier and crazier progressive temper tantrums surrounding Critical Race Theory and transgenderism in public schools.  The dynamic hasn’t changed, and while Youngkin did not win VA-10 outright, the national and state political climate hasn’t improved for the Democrats one iota.

In fact, it is getting a whole lot worse.

2.  Forget minority outreach; Cao is leading Republicans.  Conservatives get to come along for the ride.  If national polling among both Hispanics and blacks are any indication, Hispanics may be voting majority Republican for the first time since Bush, whereas blacks are voting Republican in numbers not seen since the Jim Gilmore era.

The reason is simple enough.  Black Republicans are tired of being scolded by progressive Democrats that transgenderism is somehow on par with the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  Or that white liberals now get a share of the oppression points by enforcing CRT in the classroom (that is, after they deny it is even present).

Cao represents a reaction to progressive demands that is broadly shared by many, one that is led by thinking-class Virginians in reaction to a dogmatic and utterly authoritarian left who insists that your six-year old daughter is inherently racist.

3.  Cao’s background remains a tremendous fit for VA-10.  Wexton never quite was, and though her “any port in a storm” tactics may have gained her higher office, in the absence of Trump there is simply no storm left.

Except the economy and inflation, of course.

4.  The generic ballot is shaping up to be a 2010-style romp.  If the generic ballot is R+3?  Cao may come close… but if the generic ballot is R+6 as it is shaping up to be?  That’s enough tide to lift Cao’s boat for certain.

5.  Most importantly, Cao isn’t a whackadoodle.  I’m sure this is the scientific definition of what we are trying to express, but Cao isn’t a crazy person.  Which should go without saying in most environments, but we live in interesting times.

More than all of this, the intangibles are there.

Republicans are energized, Democrats are demoralized.  Republicans are excited for their candidate; Democrats seem more concerned about Wexton’s health (and this is not something to raise as a political concern but a human one) after her C-SPAN debate performance.

Cao’s campaign team is working hard towards the finish; Wexton’s campaign just wants it to be over.  In any fight like that, go with the happy warrior.