Early Voting Begins in Virginia Gubernatorial Election

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.

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