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New Poll Reaffirms the Virginia Governor's Race Will Be Neck-And-Neck

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

We've covered in recent days that the Virginia governor's race will be a close one. As Rebecca reported last week, a Monmouth Poll showed that opponents Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R) are neck-and-neck in the race. And, as I reported, Biden's tanking approval rating may have a factor in the outcome of the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. Another new poll, released on Monday, reaffirms these findings and shows the race tightening one week out from election day.

The survey from polling firm Cygnal shows McAuliffe and Youngkin tied at 48.3 percent support for each candidate among likely voters in Virginia. On the Virginia General Assembly ballot, Republicans lead with 48.7 percent to Democrats' 47.9 percent. In the election for Attorney General, 47.6 percent of respondents said they would vote for Democratic candidate Mark Herring while 46.6 percent said they would vote for Republican candidate Jason Miyares.

The 816 Respondents were asked how they planned to cast their vote in the election. More than half, 52.1 percent of respondents, said they would vote in-person on election day, 5.6 percent said they would vote by mail, 7.1 percent said they already voted by mail, and 17.2 percent said they would vote early in-person. Nearly 16 percent of respondents already voted early in person, and a mere 2.2 percent said they were unsure how they would cast their vote. 

As far as political affiliation, 35.8 percent of respondents said they identify as Republican, with 21.8 claiming they are "strongly Republican" and 14 percent saying they are "mostly Republican." On the other hand, 43.8 percent are self-identifying Democrats, with 16.8 percent claiming to be "mostly Democratic" and 27 percent saying they are "strongly Democratic."

Cygnal CEO Brent Buchanan noted that the tide has turned in the Virginia governor's race. Previously, McAuliffe was leading in several polls.

"President Joe Biden is a millstone around the neck of Democratic candidates," Buchanan explained in the poll write-up. "It's all been turned upside down in Virginia politics this year. Seventy-one percent of Independents view McAuliffe negatively, and more Democrats than Republicans are defecting to support the candidate of the other party." 

The write-up notes that 98 percent of Trump voters are sticking with Republicans in the election while 91 percent of Biden voters are sticking with Democrats. This could serve as a foreshadowing of the 2022 midterms, Cygnal Chief Revenue Officer Chris Kratzer claims.

"The direction of Virginia could be a bellwether of things to come in 2022," Kratzer said in the write-up. "We're seeing generic Republican support rise across much of our polling, while Biden's image continues to plummet." 

The survey was conducted from Oct. 19 to Oct. 21 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.43 percentage points. 

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