Glenn Youngkin can spring a surprise
The final debate between Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin was fast and furious. And yet, the matchup ended in a tame draw. McAuliffe tried to box Youngkin with Donald Trump, while Youngkin did everything to localize the debate.
Just like the recent set of polls from Virginia, there was no clear winner. It remained too close for comfort. I liked McAuliffe at certain stages, and I couldn’t shake off the feeling Youngkin wasn’t bad.
The debate was the last chance for both candidates to swing the race in their favor. But neither candidate walked out with a 1-minute spot they so badly wanted. The race still remains where it was before the final debate began.
The latest batch of polls from Global Strategy Group has Terry McAuliffe slightly ahead of Youngkin, 47% to 45%. The problem is not McAuliffe’s two-point lead over Youngkin. It is the seven percent of respondents who say they are yet to make up their minds. The size of the undecideds is large enough to swing the race in any direction.
The undecideds are a big problem for both candidates. If the respondents are clueless about who they want to back, they will most probably decide based on the events that unfold in the next 30 days.
The debt ceiling drama in Capitol Hill will have an impact. The way democrats handle the two infrastructure bills will have an effect. President Biden’s approval rating will have an impact. And more than anything else, the COVID case trend in the last week before the election day will have a considerable effect.
My Verdict: The race is too close to call. Anyone can win. We have to wait until the last week of October. That’s when the undecideds will start to break in favor of a candidate.
Virginia is one-third Democrats, one-third Republicans, and one-third independents. Youngkin is performing much better than Donald Trump because he has captured the attention of independents. Good enough to stay close to McAuliffe, but not strong enough to beat him.