Former Gov. Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeNortham announces final steps in clearing, ceding area where Lee monument stood Judges uphold GOP win for Virginia state House seat, cementing party control of chamber To empower parents, reinvent schools MORE (D) and Republican Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinNortham announces final steps in clearing, ceding area where Lee monument stood Judges uphold GOP win for Virginia state House seat, cementing party control of chamber Georgia becomes ground zero for 2022 elections MORE are locked in a tie with less than two weeks to go until Virginia's gubernatorial election, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
McAuliffe and Youngkin both drew support from 46 percent of registered voters, according to the Monmouth University survey. Additionally, the poll showed Youngkin leading with independent voters, 48 percent to McAuliffe's 39 percent.
Last month's polling from Monmouth showed McAuliffe leading Youngkin 48 percent to 43 percent.
The poll showed Youngkin's support in deep-red western Virginia reaching a 66 percent to 27 percent lead compared to his 58 percent to 34 percent lead in the region last month. McAuliffe maintained 58 percent to 34 percent lead in the Democratic stronghold of Northern Virginia, but it is tighter than his 58 percent to 29 percent lead over Youngkin in the region last month. Northern Virginia has proved to be vital to Democratic candidates running statewide in the commonwealth.
“Suburban women, especially in Northern Virginia, have been crucial to the sizable victories Democrats have enjoyed in the commonwealth since 2017. However, their support is not registering at the same level this time around. This is due partly to a shift in key issues important to these voters and partly to dampened enthusiasm among the party faithful,” said Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray.
McAuliffe also led Youngkin in the greater Richmond region, 48 percent to 41 percent, and in the eastern Tidewater region, 48 percent to 41 percent.
The poll's findings also reflected the widening enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters this election cycle in Virginia, with 49 percent of Republican voters saying they are more enthusiastic than usual to vote in the election compared to 26 percent of Democrats.
The poll also showed President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE's approval rating down at 43 percent, while his disapproval rating was at 52 percent. The findings could spell trouble for McAuliffe, who has tied himself to the president and comes from his wing of the Democratic Party.
The race, which is seen as a bellwether for next year's midterm elections, is down to the wire with less than two weeks to go until Election Day. Republicans have expressed hope that Youngkin could be the first candidate from their party to win a statewide election in Virginia since former Gov. Bob McDonell (R) in 2009. While Democrats have expressed trepidation that their voters are not as fired up as in recent elections, the party hopes campaign stops from former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden on Bob Dole: 'among the greatest of the Greatest Generation' Moving beyond the era of American exceptionalism The bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns MORE and Vice President Harris and more national coverage of the race could fire up their base in what has been seen as a state that is trending blue.
The Monmouth University survey was conducted by telephone on Oct. 16-19 among 1,005 Virginia registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.