After weeks of polls showed Terry McAuliffe with a single-digit lead over Youngkin, a Fox News poll released over the weekend shows Youngkin has jumped ahead with an 8-point lead, 53%-45%, over the struggling Democrat candidate who is a former governor.
Fox News hired a Democrat polling firm and a Republican polling firm to conduct a joint poll that surveyed 1,212 registered voters and a smaller subset of 1,015 likely voters. The poll was conducted Oct. 24-27.
The pollsters told Fox News enthusiasm has jumped among Republican voters who said they are concerned about the issue of education. In a typical political race that topic is usually related to classroom spending, or teacher pay, but that is not the case. In Virginia’s wealthy and liberal suburbs, it is related to public schools teaching tenets of Critical Race Theory and, in more recent days, to allegations of a rape cover-up.
Parents and career-risking teachers have fought the CRT-based curriculum for more than a year only to witness the national media and now McAuliffe himself claim CRT is not taught despite numerous evidence that it is.
McAuliffe was finally pulled into the issue in a Sept. 29 debate with Youngkin, their final one before Election Day, when the GOP candidate said parents have a right to object to controversial issues such as sexually explicit books in public school libraries.
"I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe said in response.
Beyond the issue of anti-racism lessons, the controversial issue of transgender students has been a hotly debated topic for over a year, too. In recent weeks, however, already-angry Virginia parents learned a male student who identifies as a female raped a female student in the high school restroom.
Loudoun County Schools, which was already unapologetically pushing CRT with its "equity" curriculum, is accused of covering up the assault from the public at Stone Bridge High.
The Daily Wire reported that explosive allegation in a story that can be read here.
The exclusive story quotes Scott Smith, the father of the teen girl. He himself became famous after police forced him to leave a school board meeting where he was accusing school board leaders of covering up and crime and was demanding justice for his ninth grade daughter.
‘Likely voters’ ready for Gov. Youngkin
Elsewhere in the polling firm numbers, Youngkin leads McAuliffe on the issue of economy and crime, too.
Youngkin leads McAuliffe 48%-47% among registered voters after the Democrat led that same group 52%-41% just two weeks ago. Youngkin’s one-point lead widened to 53%-45% among likely voters, who are viewed by pollsters as those who are watching the candidates closely and are planning to eagerly to cast a ballot.
In a similar story by The Hill from two weeks ago, politics reporter Julia Manchester explained Virginia’s gubernatorial race is being viewed as a “bellwether” because the 2020 midterm elections are the next big election season in the country. At the time of that Hill story, in mid-October, Manchester said polling showed Youngkin leading McAuliffe among “likely voters” by one point.
“That should be a warning sign for President Biden and congressional Democrats next year,” she suggested, “because that would mean that they could potentially have an enthusiasm issue as well.”
“It will likely be like an earthquake for the Democrat Party,” says Gary Bauer, who leads the Campaign for Working Families, "about what they’re likely to face in the congressional elections next year.”
GOP has strong down-ticket candidates
Beyond the high-profile race for governor, Washington Times columnist Robert Knight says a GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, Winsome Sears, deserves to be in the news, too.
"She is a very formidable, black conservative woman," Knight, who lives in Virginia, says, "who was a prosecutor and a former state delegate."
The reason Sears has not enjoyed national media coverage, Knight says, is because the liberal media doesn't want the black community to know a "very intelligent black woman," who represents the Republican Party, is on the ballot.
Knight tells American Family News the GOP candidate for attorney general, Jason Miyares, is a Cuban-born immigrant and state representative whose message is worrisome for Democrats.