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McAuliffe, Youngkin in dead heat: poll

Virginia’s gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin is in a dead heat three weeks out from Election Day in the commonwealth, according to a new CBS News/YouGov poll. 

The poll found McAuliffe leading Youngkin 50 percent to 47 percent, well within the poll’s 4.1 margin of error. However, Youngkin led McAuliffe among likely independent voters, 53 percent to 44 percent.

On top of that, Youngkin’s supporters appear to be more enthusiastic about voting than McAuliffe’s voters, according to the survey. Fifty percent of Youngkin voters said they were “very enthusiastic to vote,” while only 44 percent of McAuliffe voters said the same. 

The poll also found that McAuliffe has an edge over Youngkin when it comes to coronavirus issues, but Youngkin leads McAuliffe on the economy. Forty-six percent of likely voters polled said they believed McAuliffe would do a better job when it came to coronavirus vaccines, while 45 percent of voters said they thought Youngkin would do a better job on creating more jobs. On vaccine mandates, McAuliffe led with 54 percent of voters, while Youngkin led with 53 percent of voters on Virginia’s economy. 

The poll is the latest to show an increasingly tight race for the governor’s mansion in Richmond. The race is largely seen as a bellwether ahead of the midterms and a potential referendum on President Biden’s first year in office. 

This week alone, the McAuliffe campaign has announced a growing list of big-name Democrats that will be traveling to Richmond to motivate the base in the coming weeks including former President Obama, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and first lady Jill Biden. McAuliffe also said on Tuesday that Biden would be hitting the campaign trail again ahead of Election Day. 

The CBS News/YouGov poll was conducted on Oct. 4-11 among 1,040 registered voters in Virginia. 

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