Glenn Youngkin leads Terry McAuliffe in Virginia governor race: poll
A Virginia gubernatorial poll released Wednesday shows Republican Glenn Youngkin leading Democrat Terry McAuliffe with probable voters for the first time, a sign President Biden’s approval ratings may have become a drag on Democrats.
The University of Mary Washington poll conducted Sept. 7-13 found the Republican businessman ahead of the former state governor Mr McAuliffe by 48% to 43% with voters likely in a blue-trending state that Mr Biden wore in 2020 by 10 percentage points.
Republican candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general also held a narrow lead over their Democratic rivals ahead of the Nov. 2 election, according to a survey of 1,000 Virginia residents, including 528 likely voters.
Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at UMW and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, said “this year’s gubernatorial contest appears to be the closest national election in years.”
“This election looks very different from those of the past four years, when Democrats could win with substantial margins by simply focusing the electorate on President Trump,” Farnsworth said in a press release. “He is no longer president, and recent Democratic advantages in statewide contests seem to have left him.”
Another possibility: Mr Biden’s steep fall in the polls after the botched exit from Afghanistan last month.
A Gallup poll released on Wednesday found the president’s approval rating to be 43%, with the latest poll showing Mr Biden to be below 50% for the first time in his presidency, with two-thirds of his slide coming from independent voters.
The UMW survey showed that 48% of all respondents disapproved of Mr. Biden’s job performance while 44% approved him.
Good news – another poll shows victory is within reach. Every day is election day, so get out there and vote early! pic.twitter.com/5C8esgL10n
– Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) September 22, 2021
Mr McAuliffe held the edge over Mr Youngkin with registered voters 46% to 41%, with Liberation Party candidate Princess Blanding winning 2% with both probable and registered voters.
The poll was the first to show Mr Youngkin overtaking the best-known ex-governor, a former Democratic agent who held the post from 2014 to 2018, as poll tracking tools RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight show.
The RealClearPolitics poll average still has Mr. McAuliffe leading by 2.8 percentage points.
In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican Winsome Sears led Democrat Hala Ayala from 47% to 41%, while Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring trailed in his reelection bid against Republican Jason Miyares from 46% to 42%.
The margin of error for the poll with probable voters was 4.1 percentage points and 3.1 points with registered voters.
The survey also found that 49% of those polled believed the nation was going in the wrong direction, compared to 23% who said in the right direction.
“This is a very bad mood electorate,” Farnsworth said. “We shouldn’t be surprised. COVID has created the biggest health and economic shocks in the world in decades and we prematurely thought the crises were over. It is therefore not surprising that voters express high levels of frustration. “