A new poll shows Republican Glenn Youngkin leading Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
The Oct. 27-30 poll by InsiderAdvantage put Youngkin at 47 percent support and McAuliffe at 45 percent. Six percent of those surveyed were undecided and two percent supported candidate Princess Blandin. The poll of 500 registered voters had a 4.4 percent margin of error, meaning the election is not a slam dunk for either side.
However, coming on the heels of a Fox News poll that gave Youngkin an eight-percentage-point lead, Youngkin now has a 1.7 percent lead over McAuliffe at 48.5 percent to 46.8 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls covering the 10-day span between Oct. 20 and 30.
Since the end of August — when McAuliffe, who has linked his campaign strongly with President Joe Biden’s agenda, held a roughly six-percentage-point lead — Youngkin has steadily inched closer to the Democrat.
“This race is still up in the air given the fact that turnout levels remain anyone’s guess,” InsiderAdvantage Founder and Chairman Matt Towery said. “The decision by McAuliffe’s campaign to make the race a national referendum on President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump may prove to have been a problematic move.
“McAuliffe’s numbers have declined during the past week, even as he has brought in the biggest names from the Democratic Party to campaign for him. However, I would caution that McAuliffe is one of the most skilled politicians of our time, so I would not count him out yet.”
John Fredericks, a radio host who chaired former President Donald Trump’s campaigns in Virginia in 2016 and 2020, said Youngkin has united several strands of Virginians during his campaign.
“[H]e’s built a coalition that is very formidable — Trump voters and angry parents,” he said, according to The New York Times.
“I think Trump supporters understand there really is no time for internal squabbling or hurt feelings. They understand the stakes of this election are enormous.”
McAuliffe went so far as to say parents should not “be telling schools what they should teach.”
Don’t let Scary Terry keep you from having a say in your kids’ education. When I’m governor, I’ll stand up for parents and restore excellence in Virginia schools. #WinWithGlenn pic.twitter.com/rzaTaB5ck7
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) October 31, 2021
Parents are siding with Youngkin.
“Education is a top issue, which is usually good news for the Democrats since they are typically seen as more capable in that domain,” Republican pollster Daron Shaw told Fox News.
“But Youngkin has turned the issue on its head so it’s about curriculum and parent involvement rather than spending. The result is the GOP is currently preferred on perhaps the critical issue for this election.”
Democratic pollster Chris Anderson said enthusiasm and momentum could make a difference in the campaign.
“With the race essentially tied among the full registered voter universe, McAuliffe could still pull this off,” he said. “But it would take something big to ignite enthusiasm for McAuliffe’s candidacy and a massively effective get out the vote effort.”
Terry Schilling, president of the Virginia-based American Principles Project, said Youngkin may well have crafted the playbook for the 2022 midterm elections.
“If Youngkin pulls this out, or even if he outperforms expectations, I think what you’re going to see in 2022 is a Tea Party-like movement centered on families and schools,” he said, according to the Times.
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