Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin are running neck-and-neck in their bids to become the state’s next governor, a new poll shows.
McAuliffe leads Youngkin 49% to 48% among Virginia’s likely voters as the race enters its final month, according to the Emerson/Nexstar poll. The race has narrowed in recent weeks, with McAuliffe leading Youngkin by less than three points in FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.
Despite McAuliffe’s slim lead, 55% of voters in the Emerson survey said they believed he would win in November, 11 points higher than those who said the same for Youngkin. The race has narrowed as President Joe Biden’s approval rating has dipped in Virginia and nationwide, and the survey found that just 45% of voters in the state approving of Biden, compared to 48% of Virginians who said the opposite.
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Other forecasters have acknowledged the race tightening as well. The non-partisan Cook Political Report moved the race from its “lean Democrat” column into its “tossup” column in September, although the state has trended blue and Biden won it by 10 points last November.
The survey was conducted from Oct. 1-3 among 620 likely voters, and it has a margin of error of 3.9 points.