Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin are tied with less than two weeks until Election Day, a new poll shows.
Each candidate stood at 46% in Monmouth University’s poll, released Wednesday. The poll also showed Youngkin leading 48% to 39% among Independents.
The poll results show a stark contrast to Monmouth’s survey from last month, which showed McAuliffe leading 48% to 43%. Youngkin’s biggest gains were in conservative western Virginia, where his lead over McAuliffe grew from 24 to 39 points, and in northern Virginia, where lead shrunk from 29 points to 24 points since September.
Northern Virginia is growing faster than any other part of the state, driving it to the left and propelling statewide Democratic candidates to wins over the past decade. No Republican has won statewide since former Gov. Bob McDonell in 2009.
The poll also showed President Joe Biden’s approval rating at 43%. McAuliffe, who cruised through the Democratic primary with over 60% of the vote, has begun to criticize Biden and Democrats in Congress in recent days over their difficulty compromising on the president’s economic agenda, though he campaigned with First Lady Jill Biden this week and has said that he will campaign with former President Barack Obama and Biden before the election on Nov. 2.
Forecasters have portrayed the Virginia governor’s race as a bellwether for next year’s midterm elections. A Youngkin win in a state that has trended reliably Democratic and that Biden won by 10 points last November could energize Republicans amid their effort to take back the House, where Democrats hold a 220-212 majority, and the 50-50 Senate.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 16-19 among 1,005 registered voters across Virginia. Its margin of error is 3.1 points.
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