Polls Show The Virginia Gubernatorial Race A Dead Heat Horse Race

VIRGINIA (October 6, 2021)—the latest Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll of the Virginia gubernatorial election shows a tightening in the race, with Democrat Terry McAuliffe slightly leading Republican Glenn Youngkin 49% to 48%. One percent of voters plan to vote for someone else, and 2% are still undecided. In September, an Emerson/Nexstar poll showed McAuliffe with a four-point lead over Youngkin (49% to 45%).

May be an image of text that says 'Emerson College POLLING Nexstar NASROUP geOuP PEMA 49% If the election for Governor were held today, for whom would you cast your vote? Virginia, October 1-3, 2021, Likely Voters, MM, N=620, 48% 3.9% McAuliffe 1% Youngkin Someone else Undecided'

McAuliffe leads with women 51% to 45%, while Youngkin leads with men 50% to 46%. McAuliffe also leads among Black voters (72% to 25%), while Youngkin leads among White voters (53% to 45%) and Hispanic voters (55% to 45%).

McAuliffe leads Youngkin in the Northern region of the state (the 8th, 10th, and 11th congressional districts), 64% to 36%, and in the Southeast region (the 3rd and 4th congressional districts) 63% to 31%. Youngkin leads in the Western region (the 5th, 6th, and 9th congressional districts) 61% to 36%, and in the East Coast region (the 1st, 2nd, and 7th congressional districts) 58% to 36%.

Those who live in the urban areas of the state are leaning towards McAuliffe (59% to 36%), while rural areas are breaking towards Youngkin (57% to 42%). The suburbs are slightly leaning towards Youngkin (49% to 48%).

While the race is tight, the majority (55%) of Virginia voters expect the former governor Terry McAuliffe to win this November, compared to 44% of voters who expect Youngkin to win.

In the race for Attorney General, incumbent Democrat Mark Herring leads Republican Jason Miyares 46% to 44%. One percent of voters plan to vote for someone else, and 10% are undecided. Among those undecided, 65% are leaning towards Miyares, and 35% are leaning towards Herring.

President Biden’s approval is underwater in the state he won by ten points in 2020, as he sits at 45% approval and 48% disapproval, with 8% neutral. When respondents were asked if Biden’s endorsement of McAuliffe made them more or less likely to support his candidacy, 22% said more likely, 39% said less likely, and 38% said it had no difference.

Caller ID

The Virginia Emerson College/Nexstar Media Group poll was conducted October 1-3, 2021. The sample consisted of Virginia likely voters, n=620, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.9 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, and region based on 2021 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected via a cellphone sample using SMS-to-web, a landline sample using IVR, and an online panel provided by Amazon MTurk.


Source: Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll.


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