The Democrat stranglehold on the Virginia governor’s mansion may not be so tight as the party would like, according to a new Emerson University poll released Wednesday, showing Republican Glenn Youngkin closing hard on anti-gun former Gov. Terry McAuliffe with the Nov. 2 election less than a month away.
The Emerson poll has the race at 49-48 with McAuliffe ahead by a single point, and a month ago, he was ahead by four points.
According to the National Review, the September survey had McAuliffe with a healthy lead among Hispanic voters (56%) but this month shows Youngkin “garnering 55 percent of the group.”
What’s going on? According to the Tri-City Herald, McAuliffe “cast President Joe Biden and his party’s lawmakers in Congress as a liability,” an almost earth-shaking admission by a Democrat so close to Washington, D.C. that he’s considered an insider.
It should be alarming to Democrats that Youngkin is a first-time candidate for any political office, and now he is within range to become the next Virginia governor. Old Dominion gun owners who turned out in the thousands in January 2020 at the Capitol in Richmond to show their opposition to the gun control agenda put forth by outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam and his then-newly elected Democrat majority in can make that happen. All they must do is vote.
McAuliffe’s campaign, according to the Tri-City Herald, is already demonizing Youngkin as a Donald Trump clone.
“Glenn Youngkin is running on a divisive, Trumpian agenda that puts election conspiracy theories and banning abortion first,” McAuliffe’s campaign said in an email message, the newspaper reported.
What this demonstrates is how Democrats plan to use the former president as a bogeyman, the kind of strategy that traditionally comes into play when your own party has nothing positive on which to campaign.
Youngkin campaign spokesman Macaulay Porter fired right back, also via email, “Terry is losing this race on his own because Virginians are rejecting his left liberal agenda of defunding the police, firing workers who won’t follow his vaccine edicts, keep parents from having a say in their child’s education, and raise taxes on each Virginia family by $5,400 dollars,” the newspaper reported.
As detailed in the Emerson poll results, McAuliffe has the edge with women (51%-45%) while Youngkin leads among men (50%-46%). Youngkin also holds the lead currently among white voters (53%-45%) and, as noted above, Hispanics (55%-45%). The latter figure could be a bad omen for McAuliffe, since Democrats have relied upon them in the past. McAuliffe does have a commanding lead among Black voters (72%-25%), Emerson’s poll said.
There is much riding on this election, because the heavily-Democrat districts in Northern Virginia have been carrying the state and a McAuliffe defeat would reflect just how much public displeasure exists against Biden and Democrats in Congress. It could be the first sign of a public referendum on the Biden administration.
As for gun owners in the Commonwealth, this would be their chance to show Democrats the door and possibly elect a GOP majority that could roll back some of the laws adopted last year.
Many gun owners didn’t vote in 2019, apparently, since the voter turnout was roughly 40 percent. After what happened in 2020, gun rights voters are not likely to let that happen again.