McAuliffe, Youngkin deadlocked one week out from Election Day: poll
Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are deadlocked exactly one week out from Virginia’s gubernatorial election, according to a Suffolk University poll released on Tuesday.
Forty-six percent of likely voters said they supported McAuliffe, a former governor of the commonwealth, while 45 percent backed Youngkin, according to the survey. McAuliffe’s 1-point lead over Youngkin falls well within the poll’s margin of error.
Suffolk’s latest polling reflects other recent polling on the contest. A poll released on Monday from the Republican firm Cygnal showed both candidates tied at 48 percent, while a Monmouth University survey released last week showed the two deadlocked at 46 percent each. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the race a “toss-up.”
Both parties are widely viewing the off-year contest as a bellwether ahead of next year’s midterms. President Biden is slated the hit the campaign trail with McAuliffe on Tuesday in Arlington in a test of his own political brand. The Suffolk University survey showed Biden’s disapproval rating at 52 percent, with 66 percent of Americans saying they believed the country was headed in the wrong direction.
The race has largely been defined by a few key issues in the final weeks before Election Day. Youngkin and his Republican allies have zeroed in on parents’ rights on education issues, while McAuliffe has focused on abortion rights and the coronavirus pandemic.
On issues, 40 percent said that jobs and the economy were most important to them, followed by education at 23 percent and health care at 17 percent. Eighty percent of voters most concerned about health care backed McAuliffe, with only 13 percent supporting Youngkin. However, with voters most concerned about jobs and education, McAuliffe trailed Youngkin by 13 points. Fifty percent of Virginia voters said they believed parents should have more of an influence on their children’s curriculum than school boards, while 39 percent said they disagreed.
The Suffolk University poll was conducted Oct. 21-24 among 500 likely Virginia voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.