Republican Glenn Youngkin has taken the lead in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, according to a University of Mary Washington and Research America Inc. poll released Wednesday.
Youngkin leads former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, 48 percent to 43 percent, just six weeks out from the state’s election. Another poll released Tuesday also showed Youngkin, the ex-CEO of private equity giant The Carlyle Group, with a narrow lead over McAuliffe, 46 percent to 42 percent.
“The reports of the end of Virginia’s status as a swing state are greatly exaggerated,” Stephen J. Farnsworth, director of UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, said in a news post on the UMW site. “The large number of undecided voters at this stage demonstrates that either major party candidate can become the next governor of Virginia.”
Youngkin has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump but has stayed silent on major right-wing issues, including the 2020 presidential election, according to the Guardian. He describes himself as a “political outsider” who disagrees with vaccine mandates and is pro-life but supports exceptions for rape, incest or to save a mother’s life.
“This election looks very different from those of the past four years, when Democrats could win by substantial margins by just focusing the electorate on President Trump,” Farnsworth noted. “He is not president anymore, and recent Democratic advantages in statewide contests seem to have departed with him.”
The UMW/Research America Inc. poll was conducted from September 7-13, in phone and online interviews with 1,000 Virginia residents. The total sample held a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, while the likely voters sample (528 of the respondents) held a 4.1 percentage points margin of error.
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