New polls show Youngkin ahead in final day of VA Governor race

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VIRGINIA (WJHL) – New polls show Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin ahead of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the closing hours of the Virginia governor’s race.

The polls give Youngkin a slight advantage over McAuliffe, moving the Real Clear Politics poll average to +1.7 in favor of the Republican.

The slim margin means the conservative stronghold of Southwest Virginia could play a major role in the outcome of the race. Youngkin visited Gate City on Sunday.

University of Virginia at Wise Political Science Chair Dr. Heather Evans said Youngkin’s campaign has been effective in the area.

“Youngkin decided to come here because his message plays really well here,” Evans said.

Evans noted that much of McAuliffe’s campaigning has been focused on Northern Virginia.

In Bristol, Youngkin campaign signs dominated the landscape outside several polling places Monday evening.

Both candidates had a busy day of campaign stops on the final day of the race.

Youngkin stopped in Roanoke Monday morning, reiterating a campaign promise on education.

“We will not have a political philosophy in our classroom, and on day one I will band critical race theory from being in our schools,” Youngkin said.

In Richmond Monday, McAuliffe restated that critical race theory has never been taught in Virginia schools.

“He’s dividing parents against parents, parents against school boards,” McAuliffe said. “He’s using your children as pawns in his campaign.”

Youngkin this week received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. McAuliffe said that means good things for the Democratic campaign.

“What does that tell you?” McAuliffe said. “The little MAGA people not as excited as you thought?”

Evans said Youngkin’s campaign has not embraced Trumpism, but he has used critical race theory and education to entice Trump voters.

The election carrying national significance as the Republican Youngkin finds himself neck and neck in a state President Joe Biden won in 2020 by 10 points.

“You also have the approval of Joe Biden, which has been slipping,” Evans said. “That can also affect the way individuals think or get fired up about elections in their home states.”

Youngkin voiced his belief that Republicans would win all three statewide seats and retake the House of Delegates.

Republican Winsome Sears and Democrat Hala Ayala face off for the Lieutenant Governor seat. The race guarantees that a woman of color will be Virginia’s second-in-command for the first time ever.

For the Attorney General, Republican Jason Miyares will fight the re-election of incumbent Democrat Mark Herring.

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close a 7 p.m. Voters are required to bring a form of ID, but it does not have to be a photo ID.

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