Virginia Republicans, shut out at the polls in the last two statewide elections, looked to national and international arenas for something to cheer about at their biennial fund-raising gala here tonight.

Former U.N. ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick dismissed as "temporary setbacks" GOP defeats in races for the top three state offices last November and in 1981, which she said will not "alter a trend . . . a major realignment" among young voters that will make Republicans "the majority party in the U.S. through the end of the century."

Kirkpatrick, who has returned to Georgetown University as a professor of political science, urged support of the contras in Nicaragua.

"Why can't the Democrats in Congress understand" what Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi understands, that the Nicaraguan government "poses a threat" to the United States because it allows the Central American nation to be used "as a base for Soviet military power" in the Western Hemisphere, she said to loud applause from the audience of about 400.

"There is no more important priority," she said, than to "stand with those [the contras] who stand for freedom."

The $50-a-plate dinner here climaxed a two-day barnstorming fund raiser by Virginia Republicans, who snared former secretary of state Alexander M. Haig Jr. for three Friday appearances, in Arlington, Norfolk and Roanoke.

State party Chairman Donald W. Huffman said he hoped the four events would net $50,000, although he expressed disappointment at the turnouts in Arlington, where about 130 for showed for breakfast, and in Roanoke, where about 80 attended a reception. He said the fund campaign would not be as successful as it was two years ago, when former President Ford did a fly-around in the Old Dominion.

Sharing the stage tonight were Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), who ebulliently pronounced the party "alive and well," and GOP Reps. Stan Parris of Fairfax, Thomas J. Bliley Jr. of Richmond and Herbert H. Bateman of Newport News.

Parris, who is trying to capture a fifth term in the House this year while keeping alive hopes for a gubernatorial bid in 1989, said he views the candidacy of former Alexandria mayor Charles Beatley as "probable," and noted that because the 8th District is a swing congressional district, "any opponent has to be taken seriously." However, he said he recently took back $100,000 that he had loaned his re-election campaign.

Huffman said the GOP hopes to retain its 6-to-4 edge in Virginia's delegation to the House of Representatives.

In the 10th District, Huffman said, Rep. Frank R. Wolf of Vienna "will have a race" against Democrat John Milliken of Arlington, but he predicted Wolf will win a fourth term.

The GOP's most recent candidates for governor -- Wyatt B. Durrette, who ran in 1985, and J. Marshall Coleman, who ran in 1981 -- were seated on different sides of the room and took different tacks.

Durrette, who lost to Democrat Gerald L. Baliles last November, declined to comment on the new governor's performance, saying it is "too early."

Coleman continued his criticism of the Center for Innovative Technology, a high-tech center proposed by Baliles' predecessor, Charles S. Robb, who beat Coleman five years ago.