February 25, 2024

Gubernatorial Candidates Locked in Close Contest, UMW Survey Shows

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin remain locked in a tight contest for governor of Virginia, a University of Mary Washington statewide survey shows. The poll, conducted by Research America Inc. Sept. 7-13, included 1,000 Virginia adults. Of those, 885 were registered voters and 528 were likely voters.

Among likely voters, 48 percent favored Youngkin and 43 percent backed McAuliffe.

Liberation Party candidate Princess Blanding received the support of 2 percent of likely voters, with others undecided.

Among registered voters in the survey, McAuliffe had the support of 46 percent, compared to 41 percent for Youngkin. In the entire survey, 43 percent backed McAuliffe compared to 38 percent favoring Youngkin. Blanding received the support of 2 percent of registered voters and among all respondents.

The differences between the two major party candidates among all adults, among registered voters, and among likely voters are all within the margins of error, meaning neither candidate has a clear lead.

“To borrow from Mark Twain, the reports of the end of Virginia’s status as a swing state are greatly exaggerated,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “The large number of undecided voters at this stage demonstrates that either major party candidate can become the next governor of Virginia.” Read more.