McAuliffe, Youngkin neck and neck in Virginia governor race: poll
A new poll on the Virginia governor's race released Thursday showed former Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin neck and neck in their race for the governor's mansion.
The poll, which was conducted by the conservative firm WPA Intelligence, found McAuliffe leading Youngkin by 2 points, 48 percent to 46 percent, which is within the poll's 4-point margin of error. Five percent of voters said they were undecided.
The same survey also found Youngkin leading McAuliffe in Virginia's major media markets, with the exception of the highly populated Washington, D.C., media market, where McAuliffe led Youngkin 56 percent to 39 percent.
"Any pundit not taking the Governor’s race in Virginia seriously could be open to a rude awakening come this fall," the polling memo, obtained by The Hill, read.
The data comes days after McAuliffe officially clinched the Democratic nomination in the race. The former governor swept the five-person primary, winning 62 percent of the vote. His closest opponent, Jennifer Carroll Foy, trailed at roughly 20 percent of the vote.
McAuliffe left office with high approval ratings in 2018, but the WPA poll showed the former governor with a 40 percent favorable rating and 38 percent unfavorable rating in 2021.
The former governor comes into the race with the advantage of a high name ID and a skilled fundraising apparatus, but Youngkin has poured money into his campaign, helping him boost his profile in the commonwealth.
Both candidates went up on air and digital this week with ads and continued to lob attacks.
"I worked with reasonable Republicans to get things done, but let me be clear, Glenn Youngkin is not a reasonable Republican," McAuliffe said in his first ad of the general election, tying Youngkin to Trump.
Youngkin, on the other hand, has highlighted his status as a political outsider and on Thursday told Fox News that Virginia "cannot afford the recycled, tired, old policies" of McAuliffe.
The WGA Intelligence poll was conducted on June 2-6 among 506 likely Virginia voters. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percent.