New polls in Virginia’s elections continue to show a tight race. A poll of likely voters from Emerson College/Nexstar Media reports a tie, 48.1 percent for GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, and 47.9 percent for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. A poll of likely voters from USA Today/ Suffolk University found a near tie, with 45.60 percent for McAuliffe and 45.20 percent support for Youngkin. A poll of likely voters from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) found 41 percent support for McAuliffe, with 38 percent support for Youngkin.
Based on that, Real Clear Politics reports McAuliffe’s lead at an average 1.5 points.
“It’s down to turnout,” Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos told USA Today.
“With only one week left until the election and the gubernatorial race in a dead heat, independent and discontent voters might likely decide who will be the next governor of Virginia. Independent voters have increasingly identified with Youngkin (37 percent) rather than McAuliffe (31 percent), a six-point increase for Youngkin and a six-point decrease for McAuliffe since September,” the VCU press release reports.
“The [VCU] poll reflects a tightening of the race for the three top offices. The number of voters unhappy with either candidate for governor and the decrease in Northam’s approval rating is noteworthy,” former Governor Douglas Wilder said in the VCU release.
On Tuesday, political analytics outfit CNalysis updated its ratings of the gubernatorial and the lieutenant gubernatorial to reflect tighter races, from Lean Democratic to Tilt Democratic, leaving the attorney general race Lean Democratic. That matches the gubernatorial rating from Inside Elections. The Cook Political Report rates the gubernatorial race a tossup.
“Despite Biden’s dwindling approval rating, Virginia Democrats still maintain a marginal lead in the polls; but their lead narrowed in the past week by a point in the 538 polling average, with McAuliffe leading by a nail-biting two points. Only Republican-leaning pollsters have found Youngkin with a lead. Monmouth University, Cygnal and Suffolk University have shown a tied race,” CNalysis reported.
The Emerson College poll also found one percent support for Liberation Party gubernatorial candidate Princess Blanding, with 2.9 percent undecided. The poll of 875 likely voters was conducted October 22-23, and has a credibility interval of plus-or-minus 3.2 percentage points.
The Suffolk University poll found 1.8 percent support for Blanding, with 5.4 percent undecided. The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted October 21-24, and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.4 percent.
The VCU poll didn’t include Blanding, but found 10 percent support for “Neither of these,” with 11 percent “Don’t Know/Refused.” VCU polled 722 likely voters, with a plus-or-minus 6.44 percent margin of error.
With one week left, both candidates are holding multiple rallies across Virginia presenting their closing arguments to Virginians. Democrats are emphasizing the policies they’ve enacted in recent years and the progress they’ve made on social issues, while Republicans are calling for reform in tax, education, and public safety policy.
The Virginia Star Publisher John Fredericks said, “Terry McAuliffe has no closing argument in this race. His closing argument is kids are getting raped in schools, parents shouldn’t have any say in schools, grocery prices are up 30-40 percent, you can’t get food on the shelves. Filling up your gas tank is another $35. He has no closing argument, so Joe Biden has to come in for the hail Mary.”
Fredericks said Youngkin’s closing argument is, “Elect me governor, and I’m going to put you back in charge of your child’s education. I’m going to stop the madness that’s going on. We’re going to send a message to all of Virginia that the left-wing, radical policies of these extremists that have taken over the General Assembly, they’re gone. And we’re going to get back to sane policies of protecting your children and stopping these mask mandates, and every other government intrusion in your life.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Glenn Youngkin. Photo “Terry McAuliffe” by Terry McAuliffe. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Will Weaver. CC BY-SA 2.0.
John Fredericks is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Virginia Star.
He is also a Trump 2020 delegate and the chairman of the Trump Virginia Delegation.