High Stakes in the Virginia Governor Race

With only about a week to go in a tied contest with Republican gubernatorial challenger Glenn Youngkin, the pressure is building on former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to burst beyond his party’s apparent lethargy.

Democrats Struggle to Get Voters Excited

“We need folks to go to the polls and cast their ballots. I can’t tell you how critical it is,” McAuliffe told journalists during the beginning of his “Get Out and Vote” campaign in Arlington, Virginia.

As per state statistics, more than 500,000 in the commonwealth already voted early in advance of the Nov. 2 elections. McAuliffe’s strategy is to increase Democrat and nonpartisan voter participation.

“This will be the highest voter participation for a non-presidential election year in the state of Virginia’s existence,” McAuliffe projected.

That’s what liberals in Virginia and throughout the nation are looking for in the carefully watched race; this race is viewed as a major indicator of the 2022 midterms.

Virginia and New Jersey are really the only two states in the nation that hold governorship elections the year after the presidential race. As a result, they’ll both get a lot of attention around the nation.

Since New Jersey is a reliably blue state, Virginia (which is still a battleground between the two main parties) gets the lion’s share of the national attention.

The tendency of voters in the state to reject the governorship candidate of the party in control of the White House has been going on for a long time. McAuliffe defied precedent when he was elected governor of Virginia in 2013, a year after President Barack Obama was re-elected.

A Win for Republicans Would be Massive

In Virginia, conservatives haven’t claimed a statewide election in almost a decade and Joe Biden won the state by ten points last November. However, the once competitive state remains so pertinent for the 2022 midterms that it is considered a critical gauge.

National Democrats are on edge, as they prepare to fight for their razor-thin majority in the Senate and House of Representatives in next year’s elections. If Youngkin beats McAuliffe, Democrats will be more concerned about their chances in the 2022 elections.

Each contender had 46 percent of likely voters, according to a Monmouth College poll of Virginia’s likely voters. Averaging all the most recent polls, McAuliffe has a two-point lead against Youngkin, indicating this is a range of error contest.

Over the summer, McAuliffe had a mid-single-digit lead over Youngkin, but the race has narrowed since Labor Day. The Monmouth study found GOP voters are more enthusiastic to vote than Democrats by a 79 percent to 72 percent ratio.

McAuliffe recruited the party’s brightest stars to accompany him on the campaign trail in order to solve the enthusiasm gap and push Democrats to the polls.

Jill Biden, the first lady, toured with McAuliffe last week and Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democrat, linked up with him for two trips last weekend. This weekend, she’ll be returning.