2021 Election Live Updates: Virginia Governor & Other Off-Year Races

The outcome of the race for governor of Virginia will be one of the best tests to date the strength of both parties in the run-up to next...


The outcome of the race for governor of Virginia will be one of the best tests to date the strength of both parties in the run-up to next year’s midterm elections. It will also be a key test for pollsters.

Race in Virginia will bring another round of voting at the polls after high level miss from last year in the presidential election, while pre-election polls have systematically underestimated Donald J. Trump’s support.

Surprisingly, relatively few pollsters have redesigned their methodology in the past year. But this time around, the polls show more strength for Republicans.

Final polls show that Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin wins by getting into a bind with Terry McAuliffe, his Democratic opponent, by focusing more and more on education. percentage points last year.

Overall, Mr. Youngkin edged Mr. McAuliffe by one percentage point in the final average of the FiveThirtyEight surveys. Almost as striking: Every poll in the past three weeks shows Mr. Youngkin doing better than in the poll’s previous poll.

Mr. Youngkin’s earnings were supported by the emergence of education as one of the main issues of the competition. In a recent Washington Post poll, 24% of voters said education was the race’s biggest issue, up from 15% in September, as it tracked the economy and the coronavirus.

At the same time, Mr. Youngkin and Republicans across the country have been supported by an increasingly favorable domestic political environment. Mr Biden’s approval ratings have steadily declined from around 50 percent as Kabul fell in August to an average of just 43 percent today. His rating is also well below 50% in most polls in Virginia.

Virginia is not a state where the polls have a habit of continually overestimating one party or the other. The results of the 2016 and 2020 pre-election polls were more accurate in Virginia than in most battlefield states, perhaps because there are relatively few white working-class voters who seem to escape pollsters.

Ahead of last year’s election, Mr Biden edged Mr Trump by 11.8 points in the polls in Virginia, according to FiveThirtyEight, not far from the possible 10.1 points margin of victory.

But the state’s race for governor nevertheless poses serious challenges for pollsters.

Participation is always difficult for pollsters, who struggle to predict exactly who will vote even when they reach a fully representative sample of the population. The challenge is greatest in non-federal elections, which often have widely varying turnout.

Unsurprisingly, recent polls have left different impressions on the benefits Mr. Youngkin could derive from low turnout.

A Fox News Poll released last week showed Mr Youngkin led by eight percentage points among likely voters, but by just one point among registered voters – reflecting a significant advantage of Republican turnout. A few days later, a Washington Post / Schar School Poll, on the other hand, showed that McAuliffe did only three points less among likely voters than registered voters.

Pre-election polls on Virginia’s recent gubernatorial races have not always performed well.

In 2017, pre-election polls grossly underestimated Democratic candidate Ralph Northam, winner by nine percentage points after leading the pre-election polls by just three points. This time around, a similar mistake could mean Mr McAuliffe takes a clear victory.

Yet when Mr. McAuliffe was the last to vote, in 2013, he crossed out a 2.5 point win despite a six-point lead in the pre-election polls. A similar poll error tonight would give a very different result.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 2021 Election Live Updates: Virginia Governor & Other Off-Year Races
2021 Election Live Updates: Virginia Governor & Other Off-Year Races
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