Early Voting Begins in Virginia Gubernatorial Election
By 270toWin Staff
September 17, 2021
Early voting begins today in Virginia, one of two states holding a gubernatorial election this year. Politico reports that it is "the most competitive statewide election since Joe Biden became president."
Former governor Terry McAuliffe (D) holds a five point lead over businessman Glenn Youngkin (R) in the RealClearPolitics polling average. The consensus analyst rating is Leans Democratic.
McAuliffe was previously elected governor in 2013, winning by 2.5% over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Virginia is the only state that doesn't allow governors to serve consecutive terms. In 2017, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) won by about 9% over Ed Gillespie (R).
At the presidential level, Republicans won every election from 1968 through 2004. Democrats have won the last four, with Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump by 10% in 2020. That was the largest Democratic margin of victory since Franklin Delano Roosevelt won by 25% in 1944.
New Jersey is the other state holding a gubernatorial election this year. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is favored to win a 2nd term. 36 more states will elect governors next year.