POLL: Republican Candidate For Virginia Governor Up 5 Points

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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A new poll shows former Carlyle Group CEO Glenn Youngkin leading former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe by five points among likely voters in the state’s November gubernatorial election.

The poll, conducted by Research America Inc. for the University of Mary Washington, found Republican candidate Youngkin with 48% support among likely voters, compared to 43% support for McAuliffe, a Democrat. Research America Inc. surveyed 1,000 Virginia residents, including 885 registered voters and 528 likely voters, between Sept. 7-13, for a margin of error of 4.1%.

The poll of registered voters found McAuliffe with 46% support, compared to 41% for Youngkin.

The poll also found that 49% of Virginians believe that the U.S. is moving in the wrong direction, compared to only 23% who view the country as moving in the right direction.

“To borrow from Mark Twain, the reports of the end of Virginia’s status as a swing state are greatly exaggerated,” University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen J. Farnsworth said.

“This is an electorate in a very foul mood,” he added. “We shouldn’t be surprised. COVID has created the biggest health care and economic shocks to the world in decades and we prematurely thought the crises were over. So it is no wonder that voters are expressing high levels of frustration.”

The race is expected to serve as a bellwether for the 2022 midterms. Republican Bob McDonnell won the Virginia governor’s race in 2009 by 17 points, a year before the GOP netted 63 seats in the House of Representatives. Similarly, Democrat and current governor Ralph Northam won by 9 points in 2017, a year before Democrats picked up 41 seats.

Youngkin, who received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement upon winning the state Republican Party’s convention, has never before run for elected office. Before leading the Carlyle Group, he consulted at McKinsey and Co. (RELATED: ‘Big Lurch Left’: GOP Governor Candidate Glenn Youngkin Says Virginia Is Tired Of Democratic Leaders)

McAuliffe served as Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018. The state’s constitution permits governors to serve two non-consecutive terms. McAuliffe has received endorsements from his lieutenant governor and successor, Northam, as well as President Joe Biden, who is campaigning for him.