[Ed. – The Republicans already chose challenger Glenn Youngkin. Virginia is a very bluish purple these days, and McAuliffe is a known quantity from his previous term. My bet is on the first polls showing him with a relatively healthy edge. A lot of Virginians couldn’t pick Youngkin out of a lineup.]
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be the commonwealth’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, CNN projected on Tuesday, besting four other primary challengers as he seeks to become the first person in decades to serve multiple terms as top executive of a commonwealth that bars governors from consecutive terms.
McAuliffe’s win sets a general election between the former governor and Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. The race in Virginia, one of two states that hold off-year elections for governor after presidential elections, will be closely watched in Washington, DC, and beyond as it is often seen as a bellwether for the subsequent midterms.
The former governor entered the race as the clear front-runner, boasting strong fundraising numbers, a long list of endorsements and near-total name recognition. There were few indications headed into Election Day that the former governor had fallen from that perch.