Fresh polling showed good news for would-be Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin in Virginia.
Political observers see the outcome of the Virginia contest as a bellwether of President Joe Biden’s prospects in the 2024 election.
At 46 percent each, Youngkin and Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, the state’s former governor and the favorite in the race, “hold identical levels of support among all registered voters,” according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.
In prior Monmouth surveys, McAuliffe’s lead was as high as 5 points and his decline is surely a worrying sign for his supporters.
- Similarly distressing for Democrats is what the results say about voter enthusiasm, where Republicans have opened up a wide disparity.
- According to Monmouth, the gap has grown to 23 points: 49% GOP to 26% Democrat.
- The RealClearPolitics average also shows a swiftly tightening race, and Republican-leaning pollster Trafalgar Group, even shows Youngkin leading.
WHY REPUBLICANS SHOULD BE PUMPED
American Principles Project founder Terry Schilling echoed Republican optimism about the race when he said on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” show Thursday that a Youngkin victory is in the making.
- The pro-Trump candidate’s triumph will be “a tea party for families,” Schilling told Bannon, a influential ally of former President Donald Trump.
- Meanwhile, Republicans have sought to capitalize on unforced errors from McAuliffe.
- “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe said to great controversy at a debate last month.
- They’ve also accused him of being an out-of-touch outsider, even though he’s previously served as governor of the state, and focused in on his financial ties to the deceased financier and convicted sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein.
If Republicans are able gain a scalp in what had essentially become a blue state, the right might be justified in feeling good about its efforts to make upcoming elections a referendum on Biden and “woke” policies.
McAuliffe is a known quantity in Virginia and is essentially the incumbent in this race – Virginia does not allow governors to serve consecutive terms.
- If McAuliffe snatches victory from the jaws of defeat, Republicans might feel foolish for getting their hopes up so publicly.
- Even if Democrats lose the governorship, they’ll likely portray the failure as a local matter rather than a national referendum.
- They’re also likely to pin the blame for the loss on McAulliffe and his habit of making ill-advised statements, as when he admonished a reporter for not wearing a mask earlier this month.
Should Youngkin take the state, two months removed from an absolute rout in California, the Biden White House will have suffered its biggest political loss to date.
- The lesson will be that Biden is on the ropes, and that the Youngkin-Trump coalition of those with concerns about vaccine mandates, 2020 vote irregularities — as well as those who dislike Critical Race Theory and “wokeness” in the schools — is a surprisingly stable and potent coalition heading into 2022 and 2024.