In the Virginia gubernatorial race, it’s a new — and the last — week, but the same old story.
Twenty four hours ahead of Election Day, a new survey from Fox 5 DC and Insider Advantage shows Republican Glenn Youngkin up two points (47-45 percent) on Democrat and former governor Terry McAuliffe. Similarly, a Trafalgar Group poll shows Youngkin winning 49.4-47.1 percent. The Fox/Insider and Trafalgar polls both track with last week’s horse race, which saw Fox News (53-45 percent), and Echelon Insights (49-46 percent) both return results indicating that Youngkin has not just trimmed the substantial lead that McAuliffe held at the start of the general election cycle, but established one for himself.
Six percent of voters called themselves undecided, in the Fox 5 poll and the margin of error is 4.4 percent. According to Trafalgar, only 1.6 percent of Virginians remain undecided. The margin of error on its poll is 2.98 percent.
McAuliffe has, in the meantime, doubled down on his strategy of trying to tie his opponent to former president Donald Trump and insisting that Youngkin is relying upon dogwhistles to appeal to a racist electorate.
On Sunday, for example, McAuliffe appeared on Chuck Todd’s Meet the Press, where he falsely claimed that Youngkin “wants to ban Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved,” asserting that he’s “going after one of the most preeminent African-American female writers in American history.”
“Now of all the hundreds of books you could look at, why did you take the one black female author?” asked McAuliffe, before insisting that Youngkin’s “ending his campaign on a racist dogwhistle.”
Notably, Youngkin has not stated his support for any kind of book ban, instead saying he would have supported a bill McAuliffe vetoed that would have notified parents of sexually explicit content in curricula and allowed them to have alternative materials provided. McAuliffe has repeatedly mischaracterized the bill as allowing parents to remove materials entirely from districts’ curricula, and did so again on Sunday.
An ad sponsored by the Youngkin campaign did feature Laura Murphy, a mother whose issue with her son reading Beloved led to the drafting and passage of the bill, which had the support of 18 Democrats and 14 members of the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus. However, neither Beloved nor Toni Morrison are mentioned in it, rendering the “dogwhistle” label tenuous at best.
McAuliffe, who deemed his opponent “Glenn Trumpkin” on Monday, is now losing to Youngkin in both the RealClearPolitics (1.6 points) FiveThirtyEight (.9 points) polling averages.
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