Polling Average: Republican Glenn Youngkin Leads Terry McAuliffe Day Before Election 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, right, gestures as Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former governor Terry McAuliffe, left, looks on during a debate at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Steve Helber/AP Photo

Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin leads Democrat Terry McAuliffe one day before the Virginia gubernatorial election on Tuesday, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.

Youngkin’s margin over McAuliffe is just 0.6 percent (47.6 percent to 47.0 percent). But Youngkin is on the uptick. On November 15, it was McAuliffe with a three percent lead over Youngkin (47.3 percent to 44.4 percent). Youngkin’s overtook McAuliffe on November 28 by 0.1 percent in the polling average.

With the race within the margin of error, both candidates will look to their base for enthusiasm to turn out and vote.

Youngkin seems to have an advantage in enthusiasm. “Polls show Youngkin winning virtually every Trump voter who says he or she is planning to participate next week, but his ability to bring the former president’s base along while keeping Trump at arm’s length is even more impressive than that,” Politico wrote Saturday.

Among those who live in rural Virginia, a red part of the state, Youngkin holds a sizable lead, 61 percent to 33 percent. Specifically, Youngkin’s numbers in rural Virginia far outdo Donald Trump’s numbers in 2020.

Youngkin spent Saturday and Sunday in southwest Virginia, where his itinerary included “a prayer breakfast, a worship service, a barbecue at the home of a powerful state lawmaker, a meet-and-greet in the state’s farthest-flung corner and an evening get-out-the-vote rally in Abingdon,” the Associated Press reported.

During the homestretch push to win a huge upset over McAuliffe, Youngkin called his campaign a movement against big government control. He also predicted the GOP would retake the Virginia House of Delegates, as 100 seats are up for grabs on Tuesday.

“This is a moment for us to make a statement that big government control is going to lose and liberty and freedom in Virginia are going to win,” he said over the cheering crowd.

McAuliffe, meanwhile, spent the weekend in blue northern Virginia and Richmond to inspire his base. During his campaign stop, he told his smaller crowd he will promote corporatism. “I’ve done this job before. I was the most pro-business pro-progressive. I made this state open and welcoming, created a lot of jobs. We do not want to go back,” he said.

Virginia polls will open at six AM Tuesday and close at seven PM.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

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