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Pollster: Virginia Statewide Races Have the 'Making of a Perfect Storm for Republicans'

AP Photo/Steve Helber

The Trafalgar Group released poll results this week on the Virginia gubernatorial and attorney general races, and both races look to be particularly close. Most noteworthy is how the poll shows the Republican candidate for attorney general, Del. Jason Miyares who is challenging incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring, is leading. 


The poll results released on Wednesday show that Miyares has 44.5 percent compared to Herring's 43.0 percent. Miyares' lead is within the margin of error at 2.99 percent. The poll, conducted August 26-29 included 1,068 respondents who are considered "Likely 2021 General Election Voters."

According to results released on Tuesday, Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe's "lead" is only .3 percent over Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin. McAuliffe enjoys 46.3 percent support to Youngkin's 46.3 percent. The poll was conducted the same time, but was released a day prior than the attorney general's results in order to space them out. 

Polls consistently show McAuliffe leading Youngkin, but most, with some exceptions, show McAuliffe's lead is slim and often within the margin of error. 

When it comes to the race for attorney general, Herring often leads Miyares. Townhall spoke with Robert C. Cahaly, the chief pollster at the Trafalgar Group. He emphasized that they pride themselves on being different. Accurate predictions of the group included their forecast that Youngkin would become the nominee, and by the margin he did. 


Cahaly offered that undecided voters haven't thought a lot about the attorney general race, as well as how a lot of people don't know much about Youngkin or Miyares.

While McAuliffe may still enjoy a lead over Youngkin, Cahaly pointed out more than once that voters are falling away from the Democrat. "This has the making of a perfect storm for Republicans, with the national Democratic label being a little tarnished," he said. 

Cahaly pointed to how Virginia voters see how other states are handling issues, such as Critical Race Theory (CRT), saying "Miyares has been a little more upfront on that." The chief pollster also stressed that what he hears from voters is a concern with cancel culture, in that it's "gone too far." 

What other states are doing specifically plays a role in the race for attorney general Cahaly believes. He explained that "around the country people who are unhappy with Washington are taking comfort in the fact that their attorney generals are pushing back," and "on the front lines" as he pointed to such examples as suing over the pipeline and the border wall. 

Virginia voters, he said, are seeing this happen in other states, with those attorney generals "taking all these stances, and yet their attorney general, being a Democrat, is silent, on pushing back on Biden." Cahaly said "that is contributing."


While he acknowledged that undecided voters "could certainly swing this thing either way," Cahaly also mentioned he didn't see any evidence indicating "undecideds are going to break for incumbents anywhere in Virginia." And, he offered "I would not count on undecideds breaking my way if I was an incumbent in Virginia."

Terry McAuliffe was governor from 2014 to 2018, but the state constitution prohibits governors from serving consecutive terms. Mark Herring has been serving as the attorney general since 2014. 

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