Youngkin leads McAuliffe among likely voters: poll

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin is leading Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe among likely voters, according to a new poll released on Wednesday. 

Forty-eight percent of likely voters said they favored Youngkin, while 43 percent said they backed McAuliffe, according to the poll from the University of Mary Washington. Another 2 percent of voters said they favored third-party candidate Princess Blanding. 

However, McAuliffe led among all registered voters in the poll, garnering 43 percent support compared to Youngkin's 38 percent. Blanding again received 2 percent support. 

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McAuliffe will need to rally as much of the Democratic base as possible in the blue-leaning state to offset rising enthusiasm for Youngkin ahead of Election Day. 

Another poll released this week, conducted by former Trump adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act Biden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' MORE, found McAuliffe leading Youngkin 46 percent to 42 percent. And a Washington Post-Schar School survey released last week showed McAuliffe leading Youngkin by three points, 50 percent to 47 percent, among likely voters. 

The Old Dominion's governor's race has kicked into high gear with early voting in progress and both candidates crisscrossing the state. Republicans and Democrats are closely watching the contest, with many viewing it as a bellwether ahead of the midterms next year. 

The University of Mary Washington poll was conducted by Research America Inc. on Sept. 7-13 among 1,000 Virginia adults, including 885 registered voters and 528 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent, while on the likely voters portion of the survey it was plus or minus 4.1 percent.