2021 Virginia gubernatorial election

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2021 Virginia gubernatorial election

← 2017 November 2, 2021 2025 →
  Terry McAuliffe 2020.jpg Glenn Youngkin Headshot.jpg
Nominee Terry McAuliffe Glenn Youngkin
Party Democratic Republican

Incumbent Governor

Ralph Northam
Democratic



The 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election will be held on November 2, 2021, to elect the next governor of Virginia. Incumbent Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is ineligible to run for reelection, as the Constitution of Virginia prohibits the officeholder from serving consecutive terms.

The Democratic Party selected its candidate in a primary election on June 8, 2021.[1] The Republican Party held a convention on May 8, 2021, at 37 polling locations throughout the state.[2] On May 10, businessman Glenn Youngkin was declared the Republican nominee.[3] Former Governor Terry McAuliffe won the Democratic primary.[4] Teacher Princess Blanding is running under the newly formed Liberation Party.[5]

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Nominee[edit]

Eliminated in primary[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Lee J. Carter
Justin Fairfax
Foreign politician
Terry McAuliffe
Federal officials
Governor
U.S. Representative
State delegates
State senators
Local officials
Labor unions
Newspapers
Individuals
Organizations
Jennifer McClellan
State delegates
State senators
Local official
Organizations
Individuals

Debates[edit]

A debate between the five candidates took place on April 6, 2021.[55] Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax compared scrutiny of his sexual assault allegations to that of the cases of George Floyd and Emmett Till in the debate.[56]

Polling[edit]

Graphical summary[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Jennifer
Carroll Foy
Lee
Carter
Justin
Fairfax
Terry
McAuliffe
Jennifer
McClellan
Other Undecided
Roanoke College May 24 – June 1, 2021 637 (LV) ± 3.9% 11% 1% 5% 49% 9% 0% 24%
Christopher Newport University April 11–20, 2021 806 (LV) ± 3.9% 5% 1% 8% 47% 6% 2% 31%
Public Policy Polling (D) April 12–13, 2021 526 (LV) ± 4.3% 8% 4% 7% 42% 8% 29%
Christopher Newport University January 31 – February 14, 2021 488 (RV) ± 4.9% 4% 1% 12% 26% 4% 0% 54%
YouGov Blue (D) February 6–11, 2021 235 (RV) ± 7.4% 7% 6% 6% 43% 8% 0% 30%
Global Strategy Group (D)[A] January 12–20, 2021 600 (LV) ± 4.0% 7% 14% 42% 6% 30%
Expedition Strategies (D)[B] December 2020 – (LV) 5% 16% 32% 8% 38%

Results[edit]

Results by county and independent city:
McAuliffe
  •   McAuliffe—80–90%
  •   McAuliffe—70–80%
  •   McAuliffe—60–70%
  •   McAuliffe—50–60%
  •   McAuliffe—40–50%
Democratic primary results[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Terry McAuliffe 307,367 62.10%
Democratic Jennifer Carroll Foy 98,052 19.81%
Democratic Jennifer McClellan 58,213 11.76%
Democratic Justin Fairfax 17,606 3.56%
Democratic Lee J. Carter 13,694 2.77%
Total votes 494,932 100.00%

Republican convention[edit]

The Republican nomination process for the 2021 elections was the subject of a lengthy and acrimonious debate within the Republican Party of Virginia.[58][59] On December 5, 2020, the state Republican Party voted to hold a convention instead of a primary by a vote of 41 to 28.[60] State Senator Amanda Chase initially indicated that she would run as an independent,[61] but later decided to seek nomination at the convention. (However, on the day of the convention, she acknowledged that if she did not win the nomination, she may reconsider and run as an independent, although she eventually decided against this.)[62] Faced with pressure from the Chase campaign and activists to return to a primary, the state committee debated scrapping the convention on January 23, 2021. These efforts were unsuccessful and the party reaffirmed their decision to hold a convention.[63] On February 9, 2021, the Chase campaign sued the Republican Party of Virginia, arguing that the convention is illegal under COVID-19-related executive orders signed by Governor Ralph Northam.[64] The Richmond Circuit Court dismissed the Chase campaign's lawsuit on February 19, 2021.[65] The Republican Party of Virginia announced on March 26, 2021, that seven gubernatorial candidates had qualified to appear on the convention ballot.[66] On April 11, 2021, the state Republican Party Rules Committee voted to tabulate the ballots by hand; three days later, however, the committee reversed itself and decided to use a vendor's software-based tabulation method.[58]

On April 20, 2021, five candidates (Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox, Sergio de la Peña, Peter Doran, and Glenn Youngkin) participated in a forum at Liberty University in Lynchburg.[67] Two candidates, Octavia Johnson and Pete Snyder, did not attend the forum.[67][68]

The state Republican convention to select the party's nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general took place on May 8, 2021,[59][58] in "unassembled" format,[58] with ballots to be cast remotely at up to 37 locations statewide[59] using ranked-choice voting.[58] The complex process fueled internal party disputes.[69] Up to 40,000 people were anticipated to become delegates, although not all would necessarily cast votes.[58] Local Republican Party leaders control the application process to become a delegate, decide who can participate (voter registration in Virginia does not include a space to indicate party affiliation), and select the convention voting site.[69] In the preceding Virginia Republican gubernatorial convention, 12,000 participated.[58]

Orthodox Jewish Virginia Republicans asked the party to allow absentee voting for religious reasons (May 8 is on the Jewish Sabbath), but the State Central Committee initially voted down the request, failing to achieve the 75% supermajority needed to change the rules.[70] However, the Virginia GOP ultimately reversed course and allowed those with religious objections to vote in the May 8 convention via absentee ballots. Republican candidates Kirk Cox, Peter Doran, and Glenn Youngkin had criticized the previous decision to not accommodate Orthodox Jews.[71]

Candidates[edit]

Nominated at convention[edit]

Defeated at convention[edit]

Did not qualify[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Amanda Chase
Executive branch officials
Kirk Cox
U.S. Senators
Governors
U.S. Representatives
State delegates
State senators
Individuals
Glenn Youngkin
U.S. Senator
Governor
State senator
State delegate

Polling[edit]

Graphical summary[edit]

Without convention polling

Primary polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Amanda
Chase
Kirk
Cox
Sergio
de la Peña
Peter
Doran
Octavia
Johnson
Pete
Snyder
Glenn
Youngkin
Other Undecided
Change Research (D) May 5–6, 2021 605 (LV) ± 4.4% 29% 7% 2% 0% 1% 13% 25% 25%
Public Policy Polling (D)[C] April 2021 695 (LV) ± 3.7% 22% 7% 3% 1% 0% 16% 21% 30%
Christopher Newport University January 31 – February 14, 2021 370 (RV) ± 5.6% 17% 10% 3% 55%
YouGov Blue (D) February 6–11, 2021 170 (RV) ± 8.6% 24% 7% 1% 13% 5% 0% 54%

Convention polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Amanda
Chase
Kirk
Cox
Pete
Snyder
Glenn
Youngkin
Other Undecided
The Trafalgar Group (R)[D] April 29 – May 3, 2021 3,896 (LV) ± 1.6% 10% 10% 26% 38% 13% 3%
Final results by county and independent city:
Youngkin
  •   Youngkin—80–90%
  •   Youngkin—70–80%
  •   Youngkin—60–70%
  •   Youngkin—50–60%
Tie
  •   Tie—50%
Snyder
  •   Snyder—50–60%
  •   Snyder—60–70%
  •   Snyder—70–80%
  •   Snyder—>90%

Results[edit]

Round-by-round result visualization of the Ranked Choice Voting election
Virginia GOP Convention, Governor Nominee[107]
Candidate Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
Glenn Youngkin 4131.80 32.9% 4140.55 33.0% 4148.91 33.0% 4331.93 34.5% 5311.43 42.3% 6869.22 54.7%
Pete Snyder 3241.61 25.8% 3243.84 25.8% 3249.71 25.9% 3502.91 27.9% 4078.25 32.5% 5684.78 45.3%
Amanda Chase 2605.89 20.8% 2611.54 20.8% 2619.83 20.9% 2859.39 22.8% 3164.32 25.2% Eliminated
Kirk Cox 1693.58 13.5% 1698.13 13.5% 1705.90 13.6% 1859.77 14.8% Eliminated
Sergio de la Peña 805.35 6.4% 812.44 6.5% 829.65 6.6% Eliminated
Peter Doran 42.28 0.3% 47.50 0.4% Eliminated
Octavia Johnson 33.48 0.3% Eliminated

Other parties and independents[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Did not qualify[edit]

Declined[edit]

General election[edit]

On August 26, the Republican Party of Virginia filed a lawsuit to disqualify McAuliffe from appearing on the ballot in November. The suit alleges that McAuliffe did not sign his declaration of candidacy, which is needed to qualify in the primary and general election.[117] It was found that the declaration of candidacy was missing his signature, although it includes two witnesses' signatures. The suit also alleges the witnesses violated state law by witnessing a signing that didn't occur.[118]

Debates[edit]

Cancelled debates[edit]

On July 12, Glenn Youngkin announced he would not take part in the July 24 debate hosted by the Virginia Bar Association because of a donation made by one of the moderators, Judy Woodruff.[119][120] Woodruff had made a $250 donation to the Clinton Foundation relief fund after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The foundation is run by Hillary and Bill Clinton, who are close allies to Terry McAuliffe.[119] On July 28, after discovering that Youngkin would participate in an 'election integrity' rally at Liberty University, McAuliffe declined a debate at the same university.[121] On August 2, Youngkin declined participation in The People's Debate.[122] The two candidates pledged to two debates; one on September 16 and one on September 28.[123]

First debate[edit]

Youngkin and McAuliffe met at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia on September 16, 2021, one day before early voting began.[124] The debate started with discussion over a recent COVID-19 mandate President Joe Biden signed requiring federal workers, employees of large companies, and contractors to be vaccinated.[125][126] Youngkin doubted if Biden had the power to authorize the mandate, and supported personal choice for receiving the vaccine. McAuliffe supported the mandate and accused Youngkin of spreading "anti-vax" rhetoric.[126] Youngkin denied the claim.[123]

The discussion moved to climate change, where Youngkin stated he would use all sources of energy to address climate change without "putting [the] entire energy grid at risk for political purposes." McAuliffe called for clean energy in the state by 2035 and stressed the idea for the state to be a production hub.[123]

The discussion then moved to abortion, specifically the recent Texas Heartbeat Act signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (whom endorsed Youngkin).[127] When asked whether or not Youngkin would sign a similar bill, Youngkin stated that he would not sign the bill, and that he was pro-life and supports exclusions in cases such as rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is endangered and also supports a "pain-threshold" bill that would ban most abortions at the point when a fetus can feel pain, which proponents of this type of law define as 20 weeks.[123] In addition, Youngkin stated McAuliffe was "the most extreme pro-abortion candidate in America today".[127] In response to Youngkin, McAuliffe stated he was a "brick wall" to women's rights and would protect a woman's decision over abortion and supports reducing the number of doctors needed to certify a third-trimester abortion from three to one.[127]

The next discussion topic was over election integrity. After supporting an "Election Integrity Taskforce", Youngkin stated he does not believe there has been "significant fraud", and stated the issue of fraud as "a democracy issue". Youngkin stressed that he believes that "Joe Biden's our president" and criticized the withdrawal from Afghanistan. McAuliffe took note to Donald Trump's endorsement of Youngkin, calling him a "Trump wannabe".[126] Both candidates stated they would concede the election if the other came out on top.[127]

The final discussion topic was over the economy. McAuliffe attacked Youngkin on his top economic advisor, Stephen Moore, who advised Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Youngkin defended Virginia's right-to-work law.[127]

Second debate[edit]

Youngkin and McAuliffe are scheduled to meet at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce on September 28, 2021.[128] The event is to be hosted by Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press. Less than a week before the debate, one of the panelists, Michael Fauntroy, withdrew from the debate after tweets against the GOP and Evangelicals were found.[129]

Predictions[edit]

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[130] Lean D September 15, 2021
Inside Elections[131] Likely D September 15, 2021
Sabato's Crystal Ball[132] Lean D September 15, 2021

Endorsements[edit]

Terry McAuliffe (D)
Executive Branch officials
Governors
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
Local officials
Labor unions
Organizations
Newspapers
Individuals
Glenn Youngkin (R)
Executive Branch officials
U.S. Senators
Governors
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
Organizations
Individuals

Polling[edit]

Aggregate polls
Source of poll
aggregation
Dates
administered
Dates
updated
Terry
McAuliffe (D)
Glenn
Youngkin (R)
Other/Undecided
[b]
Margin
Real Clear Politics August 3 – September 15, 2021 September 22, 2021 46.5% 43.7% 9.8% McAuliffe +2.8%
FiveThirtyEight August 1 – September 19, 2021 September 22, 2021 47.1% 43.8% 9.1% McAuliffe +3.3%
Average 46.8% 43.8% 9.4% McAuliffe +3.0%
Graphical summary
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Terry
McAuliffe (D)
Glenn
Youngkin (R)
Other Undecided
the polling company, inc. (R)[E] September 17–19, 2021 700 (LV) ± 3.7% 46% 42% 1% 10%
Public Policy Polling (D)[F] September 17–18, 2021 875 (V) ± 3.3% 45% 42% 13%
Virginia Commonwealth University September 7–15, 2021 731 (LV) ± 6.9% 43% 34% 10% 13%
Emerson College September 13–14, 2021 778 (LV) ± 3.4% 49% 45% 2% 5%
University of Mary Washington September 7–13, 2021 1,000 (A) ± 3.1% 43% 38% 8%[c] 11%
885 (RV) ± 3.3% 46% 41% 2%[d]
528 (LV) ± 4.1% 43% 48% 4%[e] 6%
Washington Post/Schar School September 7–13, 2021 907 (RV) ± 4.0% 49% 43% 3% 4%
728 (LV) ± 4.5% 50% 47% 1% 2%
WPA Intelligence (R)[G] August 30 – September 2, 2021 734 (LV) ± 3.6% 46% 48% 3%[f] 4%
48% 48% 4%
The Trafalgar Group (R) August 26–29, 2021 1,074 (LV) ± 3.0% 47% 46% 2% 5%
Monmouth University August 24–29, 2021 802 (RV) ± 3.5% 47% 42% 2% 9%
802 (LV)[g] ± 3.5% 47% 45%
802 (LV)[h] ± 3.5% 49% 42%
Christopher Newport University August 15–23, 2021 800 (LV) ± 3.6% 50% 41% 3%[f] 6%
Change Research (D) August 17–21, 2021 1,653 (LV) ± 3.6% 49% 43% 3%[f] 5%
Change Research (D)[H] August 14–18, 2021 1,334 (LV) ± 2.7% 47% 44% 9%
Roanoke College August 3–17, 2021 558 (LV) ± 4.2% 46% 38% 3%[i] 13%
Virginia Commonwealth University August 4–15, 2021 770 (RV) ± 5.4% 40% 37% 15% 9%
~747 (LV) ± 5.5% 40% 37% 14% 9%
co/efficient (R) August 8–9, 2021 1,200 (LV) ± 2.8% 47% 45% 8%
WPA Intelligence (R)[G] August 3–5, 2021 734 (LV) ± 3.6% 50% 43% 3%[f] 4%
51% 45% 4%
co/efficient (R)[I] July 25–27, 2021 762 (LV) ± 3.5% 45% 40% 2%[j] 13%
The Trafalgar Group (R) July 8–10, 2021 1,104 (LV) ± 2.9% 47% 45% 4% 4%
Spry Strategies (R)[J] July 6–9, 2021 600 (LV) ± 4.0% 46% 41% 2% 10%
JMC Analytics and Polling (R) June 9–12, 2021 550 (LV) ± 4.2% 46% 42% 12%
WPA Intelligence (R)[G] June 2–6, 2021 506 (LV) ± 4.4% 48% 46% 5%

Results[edit]

Virginia gubernatorial election, 2021
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Terry McAuliffe
Republican Glenn Youngkin
Liberation Princess Blanding
Write-in
Total votes 100.00 N/A
Turnout
Registered electors

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Key:
    A – all adults
    RV – registered voters
    LV – likely voters
    V – unclear
  2. ^ Calculated by taking the difference of 100% and all other candidates combined.
  3. ^ None/Would not vote with 5%, Princess Blanding (Liberation) with 2%, other/write-in with 1%
  4. ^ Princess Blanding (Liberation) with 2%
  5. ^ Princess Blanding (Liberation) with 2%, None/Would not vote and other/write-in with 1%
  6. ^ a b c d Princess Blanding (Liberation) with 3%
  7. ^ Weighted towards more low-propensity voters
  8. ^ Weighted towards fewer low-propensity voters
  9. ^ Princess Blanding (Liberation) with 2%; "Some other candidate" with 1%
  10. ^ Princess Blanding (Liberation) with 2%
Partisan clients
  1. ^ This poll was sponsored by Carroll Foy's campaign
  2. ^ This poll was sponsored by McClellan's campaign
  3. ^ This poll was sponsored by the Democratic Governors Association
  4. ^ This poll was sponsored by Youngkin's campaign
  5. ^ This poll was sponsored by the Presidential Coalition
  6. ^ This poll was sponsored by Protect Our Care
  7. ^ a b c This poll was sponsored by Youngkin's campaign
  8. ^ This poll was sponsored by Future Majority
  9. ^ This poll was sponsored by Conservatives for Clean Energy – VA
  10. ^ This poll was sponsored by the American Principles Project

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Official campaign websites