An independent YouGov gubernatorial poll of 508 internet respondents was released Friday. Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) leads the GOP pack with 19 percent, with Pete Snyder at 10 percent and Delegate Kirk Cox at six percent. In the poll, first reported by The Virginia Scope, former Governor Terry McAuliffe (pictured above, left) leads Democratic candidates with 33 percent. The other leading Democratic candidates are well behind McAuliffe and are effectively tied given a five percent margin of error. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) come in at six percent each, with Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) just behind at five percent and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax at four percent. Both races are still marked by high amounts of undecided voters.
“I’m the front-runner,” Chase has repeatedly announced in campaign emails, and the recent poll results of the GOP race agree. But Democratic pundit Ben Tribbett told The Virginia Star that Chase’s personality will block her from picking up the necessary amount of voters from the current 43 percent of undecided voters.
“A poll of Republican primary voters won’t mean much in a convention, but if I were Amanda Chase I would not be happy with those numbers,” Tribbett said. “She needs 50 percent at a convention.”
In response to a Shaun Kenney article predicting a McAuliffe win based on the poll, Chase tweeted, “Look forward to winning the General and proving all of these politicos they’re fools. People are tired of the political ruling class. They want a Governor who knows how to get things done and works for the people. Re-runs aren’t going to win in 2021.
This week, Chase announced she was suing the Republican Party of Virginia over the decision to hold an in-person convention; meanwhile Cox announced a plan to regulate Big Tech.
“In recent years, Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter have become an extended version of Big Brother,” Cox said. “They should not be allowed to arbitrarily pick sides and censor speech, and they must be held responsible when they deceive consumers or act egregiously.”
The candidates also racked up highway miles this week, according to social media. Snyder took his Open Our Schools tour through Appomattox, Farmville, Shenandoah, Loudoun County and Bland County. Glenn Youngkin, who picked up three percent among GOP candidates in the YouGov poll, made appearances in Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Staunton. Even though the General Assembly is in session, Cox attended a Figure It Out school re-opening rally in Loudoun County, met with the Charlotte County GOP, and had virtual meetings with several College Republican groups.
Democratic candidates haven’t driven as many miles, but they’ve made plenty of virtual campaign stops.
McAuliffe celebrated his birthday, made an in-person campaign stop in Richmond with Mayor Levar Stoney, and announced a plan to address the housing crisis. The plan focuses on affordable housing, helping renters, increasing the minimum wage to $15, and addressing the home ownership racial equity gap.
McClellan juggled General Assembly duties while attending multiple virtual meetings with local teams of Democrats. She also helped lead a virtual town hall on Saturday with other legislators and Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution coordinator Dr. Danny Avula. She picked up endorsements from progressive advocacy groups Care in Action and the New Virginia Majority.
Carroll Foy also made virtual campaign stops, including last Sunday at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Goochland. On Tuesday, she released a plan to expand LGBTQ civil rights protections.
“In 2021, the LGBTQIA+ community is still under attack in Virginia. Just a few days ago, many Republican legislators in the General Assembly, including two Republican candidates for Governor, voted to block the repeal of Virginia’s defunct ban on same-sex marriage. We can never stop fighting for equality here in Virginia,” Carrol Foy said on Facebook.
Carter and Fairfax have also been busy in the legislature; Fairfax has been presiding over the Senate in his official role. Carter argued with the Virginia House Republican Caucus Twitter account over a budgetary push for more in-person learning.
“Unbelievable. We have 6 active outbreaks in schools (2 public, 4 private) in Prince William County & Manassas, and that’s under CURRENT restrictions! @vahouseGOP just tried to force more schools to go in-person via the budget, with no regard for safety,” Carter tweeted.
The Democrats will be nominated through a primary, so a big field is helpful for McAuliffe, since any majority is all that’s needed to win. “Terry is going to be tough to beat in a crowded field,” Tribbett said.
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