RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With less than two weeks before Election Day, a new poll shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin tied in Virginia’s race for governor.
Both McAuliffe and Youngkin had the support of 46 percent of registered voters in the Monmouth University poll released Wednesday. The race has tightened as the GOP gubernatorial nominee continues to gain ground on McAuliffe, closing the five-point gap found in a similar poll from September.
In that Monmouth poll, former Gov. McAuliffe had 48 percent support among registered voters to Youngkin’s 43 percent. But the double-digit swing in support from independent voters is the most jarring, with McAuliffe’s 9 percent lead in September becoming a 9 percent deficit in Wednesday’s poll.
Youngkin, a first-time candidate, also has more support among women voters, narrowing a 14 percentage point margin between the candidates from last month to just 4 percent.
McAuliffe’s lead in Northern Virginia, a Democratic stronghold, has slipped while Youngkin’s advantage in western Virginia, a region where Republicans dominate, has ticked up.
Since last month’s Monmouth poll, Youngkin has widened his edge in western Virginia by 15 percent (up from 58%-34% in September to 66%-27%). In Northern Virginia, McAuliffe had the support of 58 percent of registered voters in both polls, but Youngkin went from 29 percent to 34 percent in the last month.
“Suburban women, especially in Northern Virginia, have been crucial to the sizable victories Democrats have enjoyed in the commonwealth since 2017,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “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.”
Monmouth’s latest poll aligns with other statewide surveys that show a tight race for Virginia governor. A Nexstar/Emerson College poll from earlier this month had McAuliffe with 49 percent of support among likely voters and Youngkin with 48 percent, a difference well within the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Wednesday’s poll, conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute by telephone with 1,005 registered Virginia voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.
Virginia voters will cast their ballot for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in the election. All 100 House of Delegates seats, certain local races and referendums will also be on ballot.
Early voting started Sept. 17 in Virginia, but early in-person voting ends Saturday, Oct. 30. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.
For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list