Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor’s race to ‘toss-up’

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R)
Greg Nash

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted the Virginia gubernatorial race from “lean Democratic” to “toss-up” on Friday, just over a month from Election Day. 

The development comes as polls show the race, which is widely viewed as a barometer for next year’s midterm elections, is becoming increasingly close. 

A University of Mary Washington survey released on Wednesday found Republican Glenn Youngkin leading former Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe 48 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. McAuliffe led Youngkin 43 percent to 38 percent among all registered voters. 

Another poll released this week, conducted by former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, 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.

McAuliffe has been seen as the front-runner for much of the race given his high name ID and recent Democratic electoral victories in the commonwealth. However, Youngkin, a former private equity CEO, has poured money into the race in an effort to boost his name ID. 

Early voting kicked off last week, and both candidates are set to take part in the second general election debate in Northern Virginia on Tuesday. 

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