Virginia’s gubernatorial race, too close to the call, leads the US election.

Virginia voters will elect their next governor on Tuesday in an unexpectedly close race that has national implications for both Republicans and Democrats ahead of next year’s Congressional elections.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a party member who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, has seen his lead over Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin evaporate in opinion polls in recent weeks.

A McAuliffe loss in Virginia, which President Joe Biden won by a double-digit margin over former President Donald Trump last year, would set off alarms for national Democrats.

Cultural issues have dominated the race for governor, with Youngkin promising to give parents more control over how public schools handle race, gender and COVID-19 protocols, and McAuliffe promising to protect voting rights and access to abortion. .

Polls leading up to Election Day showed Youngkin closed the gap with McAuliffe by appealing to independent voters, a group that in 2020 felt alienated by Trump’s style of politics but was more drawn to Youngkin’s affable manner. .

People vote on the last day of early voting in the Virginia gubernatorial election in Fairfax, Virginia, October 30, 2021 (credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)

His strategy could offer a roadmap for Republicans trying to attract suburban moderates in the 2022 election, where control of Congress and the fate of Biden’s agenda will be at stake, without alienating the hardliners who backed Trump. .

The winner will succeed Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, who is prohibited by Virginia’s single term limits law from serving two consecutive terms.

The contest is one of many contests and issues facing American voters on Tuesday as they grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, and rising consumer prices.

In the race for the other governor, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, is the favorite to win a second term against Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former state legislator.

Dozens of major cities in the United States will also elect mayors, including Atlanta, Minneapolis, Boston, Miami, Cincinnati, Detroit and Seattle. In New York, former police Capt.Eric Adams, a Democrat, is expected to become the city’s second black mayor, unless Republican Curtis Sliwa, who leads the Guardian Angels civilian street patrol, can pull off a shocking surprise.

A year and a half after George Floyd, a black man, was assassinated by a white police officer, Minneapolis voters will decide whether to approve a measure that would replace the police department with a new public safety agency.


The Virginia gubernatorial race, which always takes place one year after the quadrennial U.S. presidential election, has long been viewed as a crucial barometer of the president’s national position, and a preview of the midterm elections. the following year.

Biden’s approval ratings have fallen to the lowest level during his presidency, according to the latest Reuters / Ipsos national poll, conducted last Wednesday and Thursday.

Youngkin, 54, a newcomer to politics and a former private equity executive, focused on burning social issues, such as the way race is taught in schools, as well as COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.

He campaigned as an advocate for parents who want to have a more voice in their children’s education, drawing on anger among some conservatives who believe schools are imposing divisive curricula in the name of diversity.

Speaking in Richmond on Monday, Youngkin promised he would usher in “a Virginia where our government stops telling us what to do all the time.”

McAuliffe, 64, has tried to link Youngkin to Trump throughout, lashing out at the Republican for initially hesitating to say whether Biden won the election legitimately.

While Youngkin acknowledged Biden’s victory, he called for an audit of Virginia’s voting machines, a move that led Democrats to accuse him of validating Trump’s unfounded election conspiracy theories.

Trump reiterated his support for Youngkin in a statement Monday, saying, “He has had my full and complete backing for many months!”

McAuliffe responded to Trump’s statement on Twitter.

“He’s doing everything he can to win this race because he knows Glenn will advance his MAGA agenda here at VA,” McAuliffe said of Trump, referring to his motto, Make America Great Again.

“Tomorrow, VA will choose a better way.”

But without Trump at the top of the ballot, it’s unclear whether invoking his name will be as effective for Democrats.

Youngkin has walked a fine line with Trump, mostly avoiding many discussions about the former president while campaigning on issues like public safety and education that appeal to both moderates and Trump supporters.

Trump has not visited the state to campaign, but he did participate in a pro-Youngkin tele-rally on Monday, telling voters that Youngkin would protect the suburbs. In his brief call, he did not mention his past warnings that Virginia’s election could be marred by fraud.

Both Biden and former President Barack Obama got on with McAuliffe.

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