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Ill omen for Virginia Democrats as early voting plummets in state’s gubernatorial race

Early votes tend to skew heavily for Dems; McAuliffe’s lead in the state has flagged in recent days.

Published: October 16, 2021 8:46am

Updated: October 16, 2021 8:48am

Signs in Virginia suggest Democrats there could be facing a potential defeat in next month’s gubernatorial race as low early voting numbers in the state signal a potential shift toward a Republican advantage.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe—a onetime governor of the state—has seen his lead against Republican Glenn Youngkin shrink in recent days, with some polling showing Youngkin holding a lead. 

Low early voting numbers, meanwhile, could further hinder McAuliffe’s efforts in the state. Early voting is generally seen as a key Democratic electoral tool and was viewed as decisive in Joe Biden’s victory during the 2020 election. 

Early voting in Virginia is still much higher than in previous years, but is coming up short compared to expectations. 

McAuliffe, meanwhile, has called in major Democratic players such as President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, and Georgia Democratic strategist Stacey Abrams to help get out the vote for him in the race’s final weeks.

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