Virginia’s upcoming state legislative election remains a tight fight as one of the most recent polls show that both candidates are currently deadlocked in the race. The news comes as a poll conducted by the Suffolk University of Virginia showed that Democratic candidate
Terry McAuliffe narrowly leads with just about 46 percent over Republican Glenn Youngkin. That represents just one point, which could also be the poll’s statistical margin of error. The survey is officially called the USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll.
President Joe Biden has already gone into election mode and is hoping to boost, McAuliffe’s chances. He has already hit the campaign trail for the former governor, with just about a week to go. During one of his stops, he said, “You don’t have to wonder what kind of governor Terry will be because you know what a great governor he was.”
He added that he was supporting him because he not only promised to do things but actually got them done. President Biden also outlined several of McAuliffe’s accomplishments while he was in office, between 2014 to 2018. According to the President, he improved the state’s economy while creating more jobs. He also invested in education and supported the veterans’ community. President Biden also said that he had been proactive in enacting guns laws in his state.
Elections pundits are worried that President Biden’s approval rating may not help the Democratic candidate. According to the latest Gallup poll, President Joe Biden’s approval is at just 42%, which is his lowest since assuming office. It also represents the second-lowest of any president Gallup has measured at this moment in their presidency in the last 50 years.
His major criticisms come from perceived mishandling of the economy, immigration, infrastructure and climate change. However, Biden has taken a strong stance against the Republican candidate, saying that a victory for him would be one for former US President Donald Trump.
“Terry’s opponent not only embraces someone with such a lack of character, he endorses Donald Trump’s bad ideas and bad record,” he said during a rally. This is a very important election for the Democrats as it could also reflect how the American people are thinking going into the midterms.
The Issues the people want on the Table
At least forty percent of Virginia voters who took part in a survey said that the economy or jobs were the most important issues they would like highlighted in the governor’s race. About 23 percent said education and 17 percent said health care.
The race continues
According to David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, the race all comes back down to who can get their voters out much like the last Presidential Election.
What’s surprising about this poll result is that for the last two straight Virginia election races, the Democrats have been victorious. McAuliffe won in 2013 by an overwhelming margin, and Biden got 10 percentage points over Donald Trump last year.
Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of the Crystal Ball, a political analysis newsletter at the University of Virginia, who spoke with USA Today, explained a bit more about the change in voting attitudes. He believes that Biden’s approval factor will inevitably play a role but also the Republicans did well in choosing a candidate who wasn’t a super-Donald-Trump candidate or who wasn’t too far to the political right.
“Youngkin is not a moderate, but I think that he is probably more acceptable to some Virginia voters than maybe Donald Trump was or maybe some other Republicans have been,” he added. Democrats in Virginia have begun to express their worries that a Republican could take the seat. Even McAuliffe seems to be a bit worried.
During a private virtual meeting with his followers, he is quoted as saying, “The president is unpopular today unfortunately here in Virginia, so we’ve got to plow through.”
Meanwhile, Youngkin has tried to get aggressive with his proposals for school policies including like most Republicans opposing mask and vaccine mandates. What will clearly make a difference in this election is the way the vote will split with third-party candidates. In this instance, the Liberation Party candidate Princess Blanding, who is the only other name on the Virginia gubernatorial ballot has close to 2% of the vote. That represents the margin between the two candidates right now.
What’s clear is that lines have been drawn and this election is going to be a tight one that will be decided by those who decide to come out and vote, something the Democrats are well-known for.