Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin is two points ahead of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) with the state’s gubernatorial election just ten days away, according to a poll released Friday on behalf of the Presidential Coalition.
The poll, conducted October 18–21 by Kellyanne Conway’s firm, found Youngkin with 43 percent support compared with McAuliffe’s 41 percent support. Eleven percent were undecided, and four percent refused to answer.
The poll was conducted by telephone among 661 likely voters and has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.
“This is anyone’s race,” Conway said in a statement, noting that neither candidate was near 50 percent amid the competitive environment of the race’s final stretch.
The same poll taken last month showed Youngkin trailing McAuliffe by four percent, meaning the Virginia Republican has made significant gains in one month’s time. The new poll results coincide with those of the latest Monmouth poll and Trafalgar Group poll, both of which showed Youngkin had gained ground.
Education policy has been at the forefront of the issues covered in recent polls following McAuliffe declaring during the last gubernatorial debate, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Terry McAuliffe: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." pic.twitter.com/7S15pTv1gY
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 28, 2021
The Virginia Democrat has faced enormous backlash since the debate, and Youngkin has seized on the opportunity to promote his education policy, which includes vouching for parents concerned about Critical Race Theory and transgender policies in schools, increasing funding for teacher salaries and education facilities, and executing an ambitious charter school proposal.
The Presidential Coalition’s poll asked respondents about McAuliffe’s debate comment, and a plurality, or 37 percent, answered, “It bothered me, and makes me less likely to vote for Terry McAuliffe,” while 16 percent responded, “It did not bother me, and makes me more likely to vote for Terry McAuliffe.” Thirty-one percent said the remark made no difference.
Poll respondents were also asked, “Which candidate do you believe will make sure that parents have a say on where their children go to school and what is taught to their children in school,” to which 48 percent responded with Youngkin and 28 percent chose McAuliffe.
Conway observed that “concerned parents are a strong voting bloc in Virginia. If the enraged become the engaged, it could cost McAuliffe the election.”
Election Day in Virginia takes place November 2, and early voting has been under way since September 17.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.