Republican Glenn Youngkin may be on his way to a surprise win in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, despite the hefty political clout in the increasingly woke Washington, D.C., suburbs in the northern part of the state.
A Fox News poll released Thursday showed that Youngkin has surged past former Democrat governor Terry McAuliffe, who not long ago was considered a shoo-in in a state Joe Biden won by 10 percentage points.
Youngkin now claims 53 percent support of likely voters, compared to 45 percent for McAuliffe, according to the poll.
The race might be an early bellwether for the 2022 elections. Liberals may be tempted to dismiss the results because it’s a Fox poll. Yet the same poll had McAuliffe up 51-46 just two weeks ago, meaning Youngkin has witnessed a 13-point swing in his favor.
Among registered voters, Fox found that Youngkin led just 48-47. But among that same group of voters two weeks ago, McAuliffe was ahead 52-41. That equates to a 12-point swing for Youngkin.
Moreover, the RealClearPolitics average of all polls covering the race reported on Thursday that Youngkin led by 0.4 percentage points.
But, for him, that represents a big gain. Until two weeks ago, McAuliffe had maintained a steady lead between three and seven points over the past two months.
Youngkin has surged by attacking the practices of liberal school boards, especially in Loudoun County, Virginia, that support transgender permissiveness and Critica Race Theory.
McAuliffe has stumbled in answering those attacks, especially when he said parents should have no role in deciding their children’s education. One pro-McAuliffe sign that recently appeared in the yards of Virginia liberals seconded this, saying, “Keep parents out of classrooms.”
Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who participated in compiling the Fox poll, told the network that McAuliffe is not quite a goner, but he needs major help.
“With the race essentially tied among the full registered voter universe, McAuliffe could still pull this off,” said Anderson.
“But it would take something big to ignite enthusiasm for McAuliffe’s candidacy and a massively effective get out the vote effort.”
McAuliffe, according to the Fox poll, suffers from an enthusiasm gap.
Among voters who said they were “extremely” interested in the governor’s race, 79 percent of Youngkin supporters agreed with that, compared to 69 percent for McAuliffe. That now 10-point gap was just six points, in Youngkin’s favor, in Fox’s poll two weeks ago.
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