WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — It looks to be a neck and neck contest in the race for Virginia governor this fall. A Nexstar-Emerson College poll suggests Democrats may face an “enthusiasm gap” getting their voters to the polls.
It’s an-off year statewide election in an important state that is getting national attention, but are voters paying attention?
The governor’s race could well be a toss up, according to the Nexstar Emerson College poll, so every vote counts.
“As far as I can tell, it really doesn’t seem to matter who gets elected. They always seem to be controlled by the same interests one way or another,” said Maxwell Conrad, a registered voter.
Conrad may be an anomaly. Susan Garret of Woodstock, Virginia is a conservative and is looking for a change from incumbent Governor Ralph Northam. She are her circle are engaged in the November vote.
“My neighbors are paying attention,” Garrett said. “We’re very concerned also on some of the same issues.”
Desiree Ngome and her husband take voting very seriously and carefully follow the positions of all the candidates. If the poll detects an “intensity deficit” among voters, her household defies that. Democrat Terry McAuliffe is looking to return to the governor’s office against GOP challenger Glenn Youngkin, a partner in a private equity firm.
“I’m getting a lot of mail from different candidates just who are running for office and for me,” said Ngome. “I like to look at that information one at a time and then usually go to websites, but not just their websites.”
Youngkin, according to the poll, will do well in exurban Virginia. McAuliffe will need to turn out the Democratic base in northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads. A possible wild card could be the Texas abortion rights debate, driving suburban women to the polls, energizing those who want to keep Virginia a blue state.
This Virginia election is seen as a possible bellwether for the national elections in 2022. The poll shows that in Youngkin’s favor this November are issues like gun rights and tax cuts.