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President Biden and former President Trump are not on the ballot this November in Virginia, but they are front and center on the campaign trail in one of just two states to hold gubernatorial elections in the year following the presidential election.

in the race between With former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, as the latest Granthshala News polling indicates, with only a month to go until election day, it’s no surprise that McAuliffe has repeatedly nominated the GOP nominee. Trying to connect with the former president. In the presidential election held last November, Trump defeated Biden in Virginia by 10 points.

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But according to Granthshala News polls and other polls, Biden’s position in the state has worsened. The president’s flagging approval ratings, along with the inability of the White House and moderate and progressive congressional Democrats to agree on the party’s massive social spending and climate change agenda, may be key factors in a close gubernatorial race with national implications. can.

Granthshala News poll: The tough race for Virginia governor

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Virginia has turned blue over the past decade, and it’s been a dozen years since Republicans won statewide elections in the Commonwealth. But it remains competitive, and the McAuliffe-Youngkin showdown is seen as a key barometer ahead of next year’s midterm elections, when Congress is about to grab control.

According to a Granthshala News poll released September 26-29 and released Thursday, McAuliffe has a four-point 48%-44% advantage over Youngkin, with 9% of Virginia voters undecided or supporting someone else.

“This benchmark poll of the Virginia governor’s race shows it is still up for grabs,” the poll’s release highlighted. “That four percentage-point edge is within the survey’s margin of sampling error and both candidates are well below 50 percent support.”

According to the survey, Trump lives well under water in Virginia, with a 41%-57% favorable/unfavorable rating.

McAuliffe has tried to link Youngkin, the former CEO of a large private equity firm, with the former president in campaign ads that have been endorsed by Trump. And he continued his full-court press run in last week’s second and final debate in the race, once again dubbing Youngkin a “Trump wannabe.”

Trump Front and Center in Virginia, New Jersey, Governor Showdown

Youngkin responded to McAuliffe’s attempt to portray him as a Trump clone with some humor.

“Terry, you’ve made people in Las Vegas a lot of money,” Youngkin said. “Tonight is an over-under about how many times you’re going to say ‘Donald Trump,’ and it was 10, and you busted it.”

Youngkin, the first-time candidate from the GOP’s more liberal business wing, propelled Trump supporters to win the contested Republican nomination.

But during the debate, Youngkin disagreed with the former president when NBC News moderator Chuck Todd asked about Trump’s unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him.

“There was no physical fraud, and I believe the election was certifiably fair,” Youngkin replied.

Trump is very popular with Republican voters in Virginia and across the country, and is hugely influential with GOP politicians as he plays the kingmaker in the party and repeatedly teases another presidency in 2024.

When asked if he would support Trump in the next presidential election, Youngkin replied, “If he is the Republican nominee, I will support him.”

The debate was held in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, the fastest growing part of the Commonwealth and an area that has been dominated by Democrats in recent years, driving suburban voters away from the GOP during the Trump era. Thanks for doing.

As he races to get back to his old job—Virginia’s governors are barred from serving two consecutive terms—McAuliffe appears to be taking a page from the playbook of California Democratic Gov. The month’s gubernatorial recall election had easily kept its job. .

Part of Newsom’s strategy was to tie Republican replacement candidates to the former president. Newsom’s job was made easier as conservative talk radio host Larry Elder zoomed to the position of front-runner among replacement contenders in the final two months of the recall campaign and became the face of an unsuccessful push to oust the embattled Democratic governor. But what worked in California—a heavily blue state—may not play out as well on a battlefield like Virginia.

Will Biden’s Electoral Figures Pull McAuliffe Down in the Virginia Election?

While more popular than Trump in Virginia, the president was spilling water in a Granthshala News poll. Biden stood at 50% approval and 49% disapproval in the poll, with his favorable/unfavorable rating deadlocked at 49%.

The numbers of the president’s laxity come in the wake of Biden’s much-criticized action to deal with America’s turbulent exit from Afghanistan. And it also came amid a surge in COVID cases this summer mainly among unvaccinated people due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, as the nation struggles to combat the coronavirus, to attack the world in a century. Worst pandemic. The presidential approval was also sparked by the latest surge of migrants trying to cross into the US along the southern border with Mexico.

While McAuliffe repeatedly brought up Trump in both of his debates with Youngkin, he did not mention Biden’s name in any of the showdowns.

The intra-party fight between progressive and moderate Democrats on Capitol Hill is also a contributing factor.

In Tuesday’s debate, McAuliffe appears to distance himself from his national party. Asked whether he supports a $3.5 trillion spending package that the White House and congressional Democrats — who hold razor-thin majority in both the House and Senate — a parliamentary process known as reconciliation Trying to pass along party lines, McAuliffe said he thought the figure was “too high”.

But he urged Congress to pass a separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. “They have to stop their little chit-chat right there, and it’s time for them to pass it on,” insisted the former governor.

While Youngkin tried to keep the daylight between himself and Trump, he and his campaign shied away from using the president as a cuddle to target McAuliffe, as he had been to Biden last November. try to bring free voters to court who cast ballots for

The Virginia contest could be the first statewide test in the swing state of life without Trump on the ballot.

“Sometimes as an off-year election in a purple state, the Virginia governor is often seen as an early indicator of where voters are going after the president,” said Democratic pollster Chris Anderson. . “And these election results suggest that in some places Republicans may be more competitive when Donald Trump is not on the ballot.”