By Andrew Trunsky
Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin is now tied or leading former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in two esteemed poll averages, four days before Virginia voters go to the polls to decide their state’s next governor.
Youngkin and McAuliffe are tied at 47.1% in FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, while the Republican leads 48.2% to 47% in RealClearPolitics’ equivalent. Youngkin has whittled away at McAuliffe’s lead for weeks, even as Virginia has trended Democratic and elected President Joe Biden by 10 points less than a year ago.
While most of the race centered around the economy and coronavirus vaccine, education has emerged as one of the most prominent issues in it. Parents have increasingly shown up to school board hearings in Fairfax and Loudoun County, with the latter coming under fire for covering up a sexual assault in one of its schools. (RELATED: McAuliffe And Youngkin Locked In Close Race, Vaccine And Economy Are Driving Issues)
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama have all campaigned with Youngkin in recent days in an attempt to energize the Democratic base. They have sought to tie Youngkin to former President Donald Trump, who has mostly stayed out of the race besides floating an appearance with Youngkin that did not actually happen.
Virginia voters are also casting ballots for the House of Delegates and state Senate. Democrats took full control of the state government in 2020 after flipping the lower chamber, but they are now defending a narrow 55-45 majority.