Virginia governor race could be bellwether for 2022 midterms as Youngkin ties McAuliffe to Biden

McAuliffe, a former Virginia governor, has been comparing Youngkin to Trump in ads.

Updated: September 30, 2021 - 11:26am

The Virginia governor race could be a bellwether for the 2022 midterm elections as Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin attempts to tie former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the increasingly unpopular Biden presidency.

Biden campaigned for McAuliffe in July. The Virginia election takes places on Nov. 2, 2021. The midterm elections, when the Democrats' House and Senate majority is on the line, takes place Nov. 8, 2022.

McAuliffe, who served as Virginia governor from 2014-2018, has been comparing Youngkin to former President Trump in campaign ads throughout the summer. Trump previously endorsed Youngkin but hasn't campaigned for him.

The candidates are locked in a close race, according to the latest polls. McAuliffe frequently mentioned Trump during the final gubernatorial debate on Tuesday.

"We need leadership as governor, not trying to be a Trump wannabe and doing the talking points," he said.

The Trump references prompted a response from Youngkin.

"There's an over and under tonight on how many times you're going to say Donald Trump, and it was 10, and you just busted through it," Youngkin said. "You're running against Glenn Youngkin."

Youngkin mentioned Biden's job performance during the debate on Tuesday, criticizing his handling of Afghanistan and the border crisis.

"We saw an abject failure of leadership from Joe Biden," Youngkin said. "He abandoned our military, he abandoned American citizens, he abandoned our allies, and he abandoned Afghans who had gone shoulder to shoulder with us trying to make a way forward. I think that we in fact have to recognize what failed leadership looks like and the fact that Terry McAuliffe ascribes to all of this."

Biden's approval rating has been dropping, hitting a new low of 43% last week, according to Gallup.

Just the News asked Youngkin's campaign if they think linking McAuliffe to Biden is a winning strategy as the November election draws closer.

"Biden's leadership struggles and plummeting poll numbers are dragging Terry down, but Terry McAuliffe is losing for his own reasons," Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said.

"He's losing because there's little enthusiasm among Virginians for a 40-year politician that has failed to deliver during his first chance as governor; he is a known liar, and an extreme left liberal politician. McAuliffe's dropping poll numbers demonstrate that Virginia wants a change, and that change is political outsider and proven business leader Glenn Youngkin."