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With Election Day nearing, poll shows Youngkin, McAuliffe neck-and-neck for governor spot

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin.png
Posted at 10:47 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 07:42:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A new poll from Monmouth University is showing gains for Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin in the race for the governor of Virginia.

According to the poll, Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe are tied. Each is leading with 46% of registered voters' support.

The two men are both vying to be at the helm of the state capitol with the election less than two weeks away.

The newly released poll injects a shot of confidence into the Youngkin campaign in the home stretch of the election.

McAuliffe had been maintaining an advantage in other Monmouth polls in recent months. However, if the election were to happen today, the poll indicates that it could go either way.

Voters said that their top three issues are jobs and the economy, education and schools and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The poll shows that Youngkin improved with independent voters and chipped away a little at McAuliffe's hold in Northern Virginia but not enough to take the lead in that area.

"What's happening over the last eight weeks and kinda two weeks of this campaign is Virginians are paying a lot of attention to what Virginia's next governor is going to do to serve Virginians. I'm really straightforward. We're going to reduce taxes and have the best jobs and the best schools and the safest communities by investing in law enforcement and making government work," Youngkin said on Wednesday.

CBS 6 also reached out to Terry McAuliffe. While he was unavailable for an interview on Wednesday, his spokesperson, Renzo Olivari, sent the following statement:

“Terry is running a 24/7 campaign laser focused on the issues Virginians care most about - creating good jobs, making health care more affordable, and giving every child a world-class education. Meanwhile, Glenn Youngkin is running a hyper-partisan campaign predicated on his six-time endorsement from Donald Trump, and his own stated priorities: banning abortion and election conspiracy theories. Virginians should make no mistake: the future of our commonwealth is on the ballot this fall and Terry will win when Virginians show up to vote early this fall."

CBS 6's political analyst, Dr. Bob Holsworth, said the scientific margin of error in these polls can sometimes be off, in addition to the models used in determining who will actually show up to vote.

He said that if you know which groups will be voting, you can weigh their responses in the poll.

Holsworth said that the poll gave more weight to voters without college degrees who he said tend to vote Republican and which would favor Youngkin.

"The Monmouth Poll basically suggests that almost 60% of the voters in Virginia will not have a college degree in this gubernatorial election. And that looks a little more like what happens in the presidential election. In the last two gubernatorial races, almost 60% of voters had college degrees," Dr. Bob said.

Holsworth also pointed out that 74% of registered voters cast a ballot last year in the presidential election.

He said that with about 50% expected this year, the riddle of pollsters is figuring out who are the ones in the 25% who are expected to stay home.