Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin were due to meet on Tuesday evening for the second and final debate in Virginia’s closely watched gubernatorial election.
With five weeks from election day and early voting already, recent polls suggest a tight race between McAuliffe, who is seeking a second term after his first expires in 2018, and Youngkin, a Former business executive and political newcomer.
Democrats made huge gains in Virginia while former President Donald Trump was in office holding full control of the state government, but Republicans are more energetic and optimistic about their chances this fall than they have been in years. The contest, one of only two regularly scheduled governors’ races this year, is gaining national attention as a possible indicator of voter sentiment in the midterms of next year.
After much back-and-forth this summer, Youngkin and McAuliffe only agreed to two arguments. The first, held on September 16 in southwest Virginia, was devoid of major surprises or viral moments and focused largely on the candidates’ sharply divergent positions on abortion and COVID-19.
Tuesday’s hour-long debate, organized by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, was being held on a community college campus in Alexandria.
Organizers said NBC News political director Chuck Todd was to moderate the debate with NBC4 Northern Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey and Telemundo 44 reporter Alberto Pimienta. The program was to be broadcast live on NBC4 and other NBC affiliates across the state.
Princess Blanding, an activist and teacher who had put out a lengthy third-party bid, was not invited to participate.
Also on the ballot this fall are the races for attorney general and lieutenant governor, as well as all 100 seats in the House of Delegates.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Terry McAuliffe