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Politics McAuliffe and Youngkin are in a dead heat with one week to Virginia governor election, poll shows

10:25  26 october  2021
10:25  26 october  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Virginia 's gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin is in a dead heat three weeks out from Election Day in the commonwealth, according to a new CBS News/YouGov poll . The poll is the latest to show an increasingly tight race for the governor 's mansion in Richmond. The race is largely seen as a bellwether ahead of the midterms and a potential referendum on President Biden's first year in office. This week alone, the McAuliffe campaign has announced a growing list of big-name Democrats that will be traveling to Richmond to motivate the

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are locked in a tied race nearly one week out from Virginia 's gubernatorial election , according to a poll released on Monday. The survey from the Republican polling firm Cygnal shows McAuliffe and Youngkin tied at 48.3 percent support each among likely voters in Virginia eight days from Election Day. The poll showed Republicans leading Democrats on the generic General Assembly ballot, 48.7 percent to 47.9 percent, within its margin of error.

Virginia's bellwether race for governor remains close in the final stretch of a campaign that is testing President Joe Biden’s sagging approval numbers going into the 2022 midterms.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are tied at roughly 45% each, according to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll released Tuesday. But roughly 5% of likely voters say they are still undecided a week before the Nov. 2 election.

Terry McAuliffe holding a wine glass: Virginia gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Terry McAuliffe left, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, talk during the Virginia FREE Leadership Luncheon in McLean, Va., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. © Cliff Owen, AP Virginia gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Terry McAuliffe left, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, talk during the Virginia FREE Leadership Luncheon in McLean, Va., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.

David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, said the race is simply a "dead heat," and will boil down to which party can get out its voters.

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Virginia gubernatorial race in dead heat new polls says. Fox News correspondent Mike Emanuel joins 'Special Report' with the latest. Facing an enthusiasm deficit among Democrats with just a week -and-a-half to go in a deadlocked race with Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin , the pressure is rising for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to break through his party’s perceived complacency. "We need people to get out and vote. I cannot tell you how important it is ," McAuliffe told reporters on Friday after the kickoff in Arlington, Virginia , of his "Get Out the Vote" bus tour. More than half a

Terry McAuliffe , Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin had pulled into a dead heat in a new Monmouth University poll . But dig deeper into the poll and you find even more for Republicans to like. That is a LOT of bad news for McAuliffe and Democrats more broadly -- suggesting that the race may well be slipping away from them at exactly the wrong time. The Point: Rightly or wrongly, what happens in Virginia in two weeks ' time will be analyzed as a sign of what's to come for both parties in 2022.

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"It's down to turnout," Paleologos said.

The race is much closer than Democrats had hoped after winning two straight governor's races, including a 2013 victory by McAuliffe, and Biden carrying the state by 10 percentage points over Donald Trump last year.

Since then, however, Virginia voters appear to be souring on the president at the worst time for Democrats.

With Biden scheduled to headline a rally in Arlington on Tuesday, 41% approve of how the president is doing compared to 52% who express disapproval with his performance.

The president's support has cascaded among Virginians since early in his administration, according to a series of polls from Morning Consult.

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First lady Jill Biden heads to Richmond on Friday to stump for Democrat Terry McAuliffe , a former Virginia governor who holds a slim polling lead over Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin in a commonwealth where Republicans haven't won statewide in a decade. Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former President Barack Obama have been tapped to appear on the campaign trail in the final weeks as McAuliffe looks to boost turnout in an off-year election . © Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event for

Virginia 's governor race in a dead heat , polls show . McAuliffe and Youngkin are tied in Virginia governor ’s race less than two weeks from Election Day, new poll shows .

"There's a long history of the Virginia governor's race breaking against the White House party," said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of the Crystal Ball, a political analysis newsletter at the University of Virginia.

"And I think as soon as Joe Biden started to slip and his approval rating turned net negative, I think that certainly contributed to this race getting closer."

Republican Glenn Youngkin, right, makes a point to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Sept. 28, 2021, in the final debate between the candidates before the gubernatorial election on Nov. 2. © Win McNamee/Getty Images Republican Glenn Youngkin, right, makes a point to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Sept. 28, 2021, in the final debate between the candidates before the gubernatorial election on Nov. 2.

Kondik said the USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll fits with other publicly shared surveys in recent weeks that show McAuliffe and Youngkin basically tied. He said the race always had the potential to be this competitive as long as the GOP didn't nominate a "super Donald Trump candidate" too far to the political right.

Youngkin's school warnings intensify GOP's suburban push

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Polls show dead heat in Virginia 's governor race. McAuliffe and Youngkin are tied in Virginia governor ’s race less than two weeks from Election Day, new poll shows . Virginia Governor Election : Terry McAuliffe , Glenn Youngkin Tied in New Poll .

A new statewide poll shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin locked in a tied race for Virginia governor with just over a week to go until Election Day. Youngkin , a first -time candidate, has closed the gap between himself and McAuliffe , the state’s governor from 2014-2018. Since September, there has been a noticeable shift that could indicate voters’ growing enthusiasm for Republican leadership in a state that hasn’t voted a GOP gubernatorial candidate into office in over a decade.

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More: Terry McAuliffe vs. Glenn Youngkin: Virginia governor's race tests Biden, Democrats before 2022

"Youngkin is not a moderate, but I think that he is probably more acceptable to some Virginia voters than maybe Donald Trump was or maybe some other Republicans have been," Kondik said.

Democrats 'wrecked' over tight race

Lisa Suhay, a 55-year-old children's book author from Norfolk, Va., said there is palpable anxiety among left-leaning voters about the prospect of the GOP flipping The Old Dominion State.

"I'm wrecked as a Democrat," she said. "I'm very worried because I think Youngkin will take our state in a direction that won't be a healing direction."

McAuliffe has been losing ground for weeks since earlier polls showed him up by as much as 9 percentage points.

During a private virtual call with supporters earlier this month, McAuliffe admitted Biden's flailing numbers aren't helping. He spoke of how "headwinds from Washington" were hurting his campaign.

"The president is unpopular today unfortunately here in Virginia, so we got to plow through," McAuliffe said.

But Suhay said the former governor's woes are related to a deflation among Democratic voters, who she said are exhausted with the past year of American politics.

"I don't think it's necessarily as much that Biden is a stinker now as it is that people have forgotten the previous comparison," she said.

"Big chunks of the Democratic Party are not motivated, and I don't think that Democrats in Virginia really understand the gravity of what will happen if Youngkin gets in."

Among those surveyed, 40% said they voted for Trump in the 2020 presidential election compared to 47% who pulled the lever for Biden.

The USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, which has a 4.4% margin of error, shows a significant chunk of Virginia voters are overwhelmingly pessimistic about the country's direction.

Approximately 66% said it is on the wrong track versus about 26% who say it is going in the right direction.

Democrat Mari Bonomi, 77, a retiree who lives in Kilmarnock, Va., said the direction of the country shouldn't be laid totally at Biden's feet with just nine months in office.

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"He's tried, but he hasn't succeeded," she said of the president.

Those same voters who were surveyed have a more optimistic view of their state compared to the rest of the country, however. The poll found 49.8% said Virginia is on the wrong track versus 43.6% who believe it is heading down the right path. But, almost two-thirds of voters said Virginia's economy had either gotten worse or stayed the same over the past four years. Twenty-nine percent said the state economy had improved.

"There is no passion on the Democratic side in a lot of the state because for many of us, McAuliffe should have kept himself out of the race," Bonomi said. "He's already been governor. I'm really worried. I am really, really worried."

Youngkin tapping into school issues

The Youngkin campaign has been aggressive with attack ads that latch on to a movement led by conservative activists against certain curriculum in public schools.

During the second and final debate, when asked about who should be in charge of education policy and curriculum, McAuliffe said he wasn’t, "going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision."

"I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” he added.

That comment infuriated right-leaning parents, and Youngkin’s team quickly used it to slam McAuliffe as being out of touch with parents and their values.

Asked who should have more of an influence on a school’s curriculum, 49.8% sided with parents compared to 38.8% who said school boards, according to the poll.

Glenn Youngkin makes final pitch to be Virginia's new governor

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McAuliffe has also called for creating COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates in schools and businesses. Youngkin opposes those ideas, saying individuals should make their own decisions and that parents know what's best for their children.

Barbara Osborne, 50, from South Riding, Va., a Republican voter and project manager for a defense contractor, said she supports Youngkin because "Virginia is moving too quickly to the left."

She cited education policies like the teaching of critical race theory.

"My biggest reason for supporting Youngkin is education," Osborne said.

Republican Mary Fischbach, 59, a retired teacher from Chesapeake, Va., said she likes Youngkin because "he's going to stand up for parents' rights in education."

Sarah Longwell, a political strategist who has conducted focus group interviews of Virginia voters, said her sessions indicate that Republicans may be more motivated because of opposition to Biden. Democrats, she said, may be less enthusiastic about the race because of frustration with Biden.

"It's about who is motivated and who is not," said Longwell, a Trump critic who is executive director of an organization called the Republican Accountability Project.

Third party candidate matters

What's received little national attention has been the impact Libertarian Princess Blanding, who is the only other name on the Virginia gubernatorial ballot, could have on the race.

She's raking in nearly 2% of the vote, according to the poll, which could be critical in such a tight contest where the two major party candidates are separated by about half a percentage point.

Trump says 'MAGA movement is bigger than ever'

  Trump says 'MAGA movement is bigger than ever' Trump thanked his supporters Tuesday night and said: 'Glenn will be a great governor.' The ex-president also claims his supporters remain strong and the 'MAGA movement is bigger than ever before.''I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin. Without you, he would not have been close to winning,' Trump said in a statement Tuesday night. 'The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before. Glenn will be a great governor.

"The least known candidate of the three... now holds the key to the governor’s castle," Paleologos said.

"At this point her 2% is larger than the margin between McAuliffe and Youngkin, and when it comes to young voters and independents, Blanding matters more."

Blanding, an activist and educator, does best among independents where she carries about 6% of the vote. She also holds 5% among voters age 18-35, and 6% with those who didn’t vote in the 2020 presidential election but who are voting next Tuesday.

Erik Hrin, 47, a Marine Corps. veteran and federal employee who lives Northern Virginia, is an independent who is debating whether to support Blanding or Youngkin next week. He said the appeal of a third party candidate is a reflection of the two party system's shortcomings.

"I would basically rather take my vote out to the middle of the street and burn it in front of everybody and say, 'nobody deserves it,'" Hrin said. "And I think that's the independent – especially amongst libertarians – perspective. Neither of you earned it."

McAuliffe leads among Black voters, Youngkin ahead with white voters

Youngkin, a businessman making his first bid in politics, has focused largely on white suburban voters, especially those who defected from the GOP over Trump and voted for Biden in last year's presidential election.

More: Barack Obama stumps for Terry McAuliffe as tight Va. governor's race worries Democrats

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But he has embraced Trumpian issues while seeking to distance himself from the man himself. Trump, meanwhile has heartily endorsed Youngkin on several occasions.

Youngkin leads McAuliffe handily among white voters, 56%-38%, the poll found. McAuliffe, meanwhile, holds a massive lead among Black voters, 81%-8%.

There is also a massive gender gap. McAuliffe leads among women, 59%-33%, Youngkin among men, 58%-32%.

McAuliffe's campaign has spent recent weeks encouraging better turnout among supporters, particularly Black voters who helped him win the governor's race in 2013. Their campaign features appearances and ads by prominent African Americans, including Harris and former President Barack Obama.

"If Black voters make up more than 20% of the voting electorate, McAuliffe will prevail," Paleologos said. "But if the Black vote is only 16%-18% of the total votes cast, Youngkin will be governor."

Fischbach, the retired teacher, said she worries that McAuliffe's attempts to link Youngkin to Trump could be successful in scaring voters away from the Republican candidate.

But for some independents, any support from Trump is a disqualification

"In my opinion, Youngkin is not what Virginia needs," said independent Tarik Moore, 45, an African American IT consultant from Ashburn, Va.

"To be honest with you it's his association with Donald Trump," he added. "If the situation was flipped, and he wasn't connected to Trump and his policies, I'd be voting Republican."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: McAuliffe and Youngkin are in a dead heat with one week to Virginia governor election, poll shows

Trump says 'MAGA movement is bigger than ever' .
Trump thanked his supporters Tuesday night and said: 'Glenn will be a great governor.' The ex-president also claims his supporters remain strong and the 'MAGA movement is bigger than ever before.''I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin. Without you, he would not have been close to winning,' Trump said in a statement Tuesday night. 'The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before. Glenn will be a great governor.

usr: 1
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