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by Brandon Jarvis

This week started early after a poll was released Sunday showing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe four points ahead of the Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin. 

The poll shows the Republicans have already made gains in repairing their image after Donald Trump’s turbulent presidency and a 10-point loss in the commonwealth last November. 

But one poll is no reason for panic or relief from either party. “It’s always dangerous to draw too many conclusions from a single measure, especially early in a race,” said Richard Meagher, an associate professor of political science at Randolph Macon University. “The particular pollster, in this case, JMCA, does not have a long track record so they are not rated very highly by 538’s pollster ratings. That doesn’t necessarily mean this poll is inaccurate, just that we don’t have the same level of confidence we might have with a more established pollster.”

The poll showed the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Del. Hala Ayala, with a six-point lead over Republican nominee Winsome Sears.

Attorney General Mark Herring had the largest lead with a seven-point lead over his Republican challenger Del. Jason Miyares. 

“Overall, I worry about poll accuracy for all pollsters,” Meagher said. “There’s an art as well as science to polls – the art of matching your sample to who you think is actually going to vote. And estimating who will actually vote has become increasingly difficult as politics has been increasingly in flux over the past few years.”

Republicans went on the offensive with an ad Monday morning trying to tie the scandals and talking points from the past year to McAuliffe via Governor Northam, an endorser and public supporter of McAuliffe. Northam was the lieutenant governor under McAuliffe and ideologically both men are quite similar. 

This is part of the double-edged sword for McAuliffe essentially running as an incumbent — he will be able to run on his record as governor from four years ago and his name ID is nearly universal, but he will also be attached by Republicans to every policy and mishap that happened during the Northam administration as well as his own. 

But Democrats are moving forward with careful optimism as Youngkin appears to be in a better position to challenge them than Ed Gillespie was in 2017. 

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One thought on “State of the Race: McAuliffe v. Youngkin”
  1. Every true conservative needs to write in Amanda Chase. She was the winner who was leading in every pole, but we got this no name RINO Younkin pushed on us in some back room deal and didn’t even get to vote on it. Time to show them the voteres know better.

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