Glenn Youngkin, the Republican in the Virginia governor race, has pulled ahead in the latest poll against former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, but the race remains tight, with polling averages putting it as a dead heat.
The RealClearPolitics polling average in the hotly contested and closely watched race – which is being judged as a canary in the mine of sorts on Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden and as a bellwether for the upcoming midterms – shows Youngkin ahead by an average of 0.6%.
The latest Fox News poll, taken October 24-27, shows Youngkin with an 8-point lead. The other recent polls in the race showed McAuliffe, a close ally of Biden who has tried to tie Youngkin to Trump, either ahead by one point or tied with Youngkin. Essentially most polls have shown the race to be a dead heat in the margin for error.
However, that’s caused consternation among some Democrats because Virginia is a blue state that Trump lost by 10 percentage points in 2020. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Virginia, but by a smaller margin.
Fox News reported that the eight-point lead in its latest poll for Youngkin is among likely voters. The race tightens to a one-point difference among registered voters. Fox News reported that education was the issue driving enthusiasm among Republican voters.
“With the race essentially tied among the full registered voter universe, McAuliffe could still pull this off,” Democratic pollster Chris Anderson told Fox News. He and Republican Daron Shaw conducted the poll. “But it would take something big to ignite enthusiasm for McAuliffe’s candidacy and a massively effective get out the vote effort.”
The candidates have diverged sharply over critical race theory in schools, with Youngkin saying he would ban it, and McAuliffe denying it’s being taught, Fox News reported. According to Politico, Youngkin is performing well with independents, parents concerned about education, some Joe Biden voters, Trump voters, and rural voters. COVID has waned as an issue of concern with voters, even as McAuliffe has campaigned on it, Politco reported.
The race has not been without controversy; the anti-Trump Lincoln Project group claimed responsibility for a stunt in which it planted people posing as white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, with tiki torches at a Youngkin campaign stop, according to NBC29.
McAuliffe was the Democratic governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. He was Democratic National Committee chairman and co-chairman of President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns. Youngkin worked in investments as former co-CEO and president of The Carlyle Group, according to Ballotpedia. Trump is holding a virtual rally for Youngkin, who is not participating in it, according to Newsweek.
It’s an open seat because the current governor of Virginia has to step down due to term limits.
Here are the latest polls in the Virginia governor’s race between Youngkin and McAuliffe:
Fox News: Taken October 24-27, 2021
Washington Post: Taken October 20-26, 2021
Emerson: Taken October 22-23, 2021
Christopher Newport University: Taken October 17-25, 2021
USA Today/Suffolk: Taken October 21-24, 2021
Roanoke College: Taken October 20-26, 2021
Monmouth: Taken October 16-19, 2021
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