Poll: Virginia Governor Race Remains Tight, 10% of Voters Undecided

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe speaks during the North American Building Trades Unions Conference at the Washington Hilton April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Many Democrat presidential hopefuls attended the conference in hopes of drawing the labor vote. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images); WASHINGTON, DC …
Zach Gibson/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Virginia’s gubernatorial race is heating up as Election Day stands at roughly six weeks away, with former Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe leading Republican Glenn Youngkin by four points, a Presidential Coalition poll conducted by Kellyanne Conway found.

The survey asked respondents to choose between the former governor and his Republican challenger. When asked who they would vote for or who they would lean toward, 46 percent said McAuliffe, compared to 42 percent who chose Youngkin.

Republican gubernatorial candidate, Glenn Youngkin arrives for an event in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Republican gubernatorial candidate, Glenn Youngkin arrives for an event in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Notably, ten percent said they remain undecided — more than enough to swing the race in either direction.

According to Politico:

A memo accompanying the survey, however, argues that McAuliffe faces a rocky road thanks to a political environment that is turning against his party. The poll shows Biden’s approval rating in Virginia at 49 percent, with 48 percent disapproving of his performance — a drop-off from that comfortable 10-point margin of victory he enjoyed over Trump there last November.

“This is a nagging and growing liability for McAuliffe,” the memo says.

The survey also asked respondents to gauge their favorability of the candidates. According to the results, 48 percent labeled McAuliffe as “favorable,” compared to 45 percent who said the same of Youngkin. Notably, a plurality of voters, 30 percent, identified jobs and the economy as the most pressing issue in Virginia today, while 28 percent said the coronavirus and vaccinations.

The survey, taken September 17-19, 2021, among 700 likely voters in Virginia, has a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percent.

It coincides with a Washington Post-Schar School poll showing a tight race, with McAuliffe holding a 3-point lead over Youngkin among likely voters,  50 percent to 47. It also found Youngkin leading McAuliffe among independent likely voters 52 percent to 44 percent.

 However, an L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University survey released this week found the Democrat leading the Republican by nine points, although other surveys have also indicated statistical ties between the two.

FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker currently shows McAuliffe leading by 3.5 percent.


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