GOP businessman Glenn Youngkin has taken a small lead over former governor and Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial election with less than two months to go, a new internal poll released by Youngkin’s campaign on Wednesday shows.
According to a recent WPA Intelligence survey, McCauliffe has fallen four points since early August in a three-way matchup including Liberation Party candidate Princess Blanding, while Youngkin has surged forward five points–a nine-point swing. McAuliffe, who was at 50 percent a few weeks ago, has fallen to 46 percent. Youngkin, who was at 43 percent a few weeks ago, has surged to 48 percent. Blanding got three percent in both surveys, and both polls found four percent were undecided.
The poll, conducted Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, surveyed 734 likely voters in Virginia and has a margin of error of 3.6 percent.
The turn against McAuliffe per the internal poll from Youngkin’s campaign comes as Democrat President Joe Biden has seen his approval rating sink across the board nationally and in key battleground states and districts from coast to coast. In Virginia, according to this poll, Biden’s approval rating has dropped 17 points in just one month–a brutal swing against a sitting president.
“In just one month, the combination of Biden’s catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal, spiraling inflation, and spiking Covid-19 have moved the President’s image from +10 points favorable to -7– a significant 17-point shift in a relatively short time,” the WPA report announcing the poll said.
In a head-to-head matchup, Youngkin and McAuliffe are tied according to this poll at 48 percent apiece. A month ago, WPA’s polling found McAuliffe leading by six points–but his support has dropped three points and Youngkin’s has grown by three points since then, a six-point swing against the Democrat candidate. Youngkin, in the head-to-head matchup with McAuliffe, was previously at 45 percent but is now at 48 percent–and McAuliffe was previously at 51 percent but has fallen to 48 percent.
The survey also showed that Republicans in the state have a high level of interest in the election, which could bolster turnout.
“Eighty-one percent of Republicans report very high(10 out of 10) levels of interest in the election compared to fewer than six-in-ten Democrats (58%),” the WPA report said.
The survey was conducted on behalf of the Youngkin campaign. Youngkin said in response to the survey, as reported by the Washington Examiner:
Terry McAuliffe and his liberal Richmond allies are failing Virginia, and it’s going to take a new kind of leader, not a failed politician looking for a second chance, to create a commonwealth where businesses can prosper, students can thrive, and communities are safe.
Biden endorsed McAuliffe at a fundraiser rally in Virginia this past July where he linked Youngkin with former President Donald Trump–who has endorsed Youngkin. Biden said:
You got to elect him again, and I mean this, not just for Virginia, for the country. The country is looking, these off-year elections, the country’s looking. This is a big deal. Terry and I share a lot in common. I ran against Donald Trump and so is Terry. And I whipped Donald Trump in Virginia and so will Terry.
“I tell you what, the guy Terry is running against is an acolyte of Donald Trump — for real, I mean it’s just like, I don’t know where these guys come from,” he added.
Speaking with CNN earlier this year, McAuliffe said that the absence of Donald Trump will suppress voter turnout enough to make it a close election.
“We had Donald Trump here for four years. He drove Democratic turnout,” McAuliffe said. “Donald Trump is not president anymore. … It’s going to be very close. It’s going to be nip and tuck. … You bet it’s going to be close.”
With just 56 days left, the Virginia election will occur on Tuesday, November 2.