Breaking down 2021’s marquee race with less than 3 weeks to go.
KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE
— In the closely-watched Virginia gubernatorial race, Glenn Youngkin (R) is keeping it close with Terry McAuliffe (D), in part because he now enjoys some of the advantages that Democrats enjoyed in Virginia during Donald Trump’s presidency.
— Though the McAuliffe campaign has worked relentlessly to tie Youngkin to Trump, an unpopular figure in the commonwealth who has endorsed Youngkin several times, President Biden’s weakened approval ratings weigh on Democrats. Congressional Democrats’ lack of action on big-item legislation, specifically on infrastructure and social spending, also seems to be dampening enthusiasm among their rank-and-file voters.
— The down-ballot races will probably be linked closely with the top of the ticket, with the state House of Delegates up for grabs in addition to the other statewide offices.
— While early voting is down a good deal compared to last year’s presidential race, as expected, it is hard to draw firm conclusions from these totals because the lion’s share of Virginians have traditionally voted on Election Day, aside from last year during the pandemic.