NRL News

Virginia Governor’s Race Becomes Virtual Dead Heat in Final Weeks

by | Oct 15, 2021

By Karen Cross, NRL Political Director

The Virginia Governor’s race is in a virtual dead heat with under three weeks to go. A new CBS News/YouGov poll released this week shows pro-abortion Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading 50% to 47% against pro-life Republican Glenn Youngkin, within the poll’s 4-point margin of error.

Just last year, Joe Biden carried the Commonwealth of Virginia by ten points. It was barely considered a swing state. The closeness of the governor’s race in the first place shows a significant drop in Democratic support in the state.

The CBS News/YouGov poll confirms that the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats continues to be a major problem for McAuliffe. 50% of Youngkin supporters said they are “very enthusiastic to vote” compared to just 44% of McAuliffe supporters.

In addition, the poll also found Youngkin leading 53% to 44% over McAuliffe among independent voters.

McAuliffe is also contending with sinking numbers for President Biden and Democrats nationally. In a recent Zoom meeting with supporters, McAuliffe conceded that Biden’s precipitous drop in approval was proving to be a difficult hurdle in the Virginia governor’s race. “We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington. As you know, the president is unpopular today, unfortunately, here in Virginia, so we’ve got to plow through,” acknowledged McAuliffe.

The Cook Political Report, which rated the Virginia Governor’s Race as Leans Democrat for most of the year, recently updated its rating to Toss-Up.

Abortion has become a central topic as both candidates make their closing arguments of the campaign. Terry McAuliffe, who supports a policy of abortion on demand at any time in pregnancy for any reason, even visited an abortion clinic during a recent campaign stop. He has repeatedly referred to himself as a “brick wall” against any and all pro-life legislation.

Glenn Youngkin has called out McAuliffe for his extreme position on abortion. McAuliffe even supported the controversial bill proposed by Delegate Kathy Tran, which would have allowed abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy and even left open the door for infants who survive abortions to be denied medical treatment.

By contrast, Youngkin supports Virginia’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would protect unborn babies who can feel pain from late abortions. He also opposes using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.

“As the next Governor of Virginia, I will proudly stand up for the unborn and their mothers,” Youngkin stated in a letter to pro-life leaders and grassroots activists. “I believe life begins at conception. My views are formed not only by my faith, but by science as well. Instead of working to expand late-term abortion in Virginia, I’ll proudly advocate to limit abortions when the unborn child can feel pain.”

He concluded, “Further, I will protect Virginia taxpayers from paying for abortions.”

In-person early voting is underway and continues through Saturday, October 30th. Election Day is Tuesday, November 2nd. For a personalized voter guide, visit

Categories: Politics