Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe isn’t running away with the victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial contest, according to a poll that shows Republican Glenn Youngkin statistically tied as the general election contest gets underway.
The survey from WPA Intelligence, a conservative polling firm, found that Mr. McAuliffe, a Democrat, holds a 48% to 46% lead over Mr. Youngkin and that 5% of voters are undecided. A two-point difference is within the survey’s error margin, so the poll shows a statistical tie.
“Any pundit not taking the Governor’s race in Virginia seriously could be open to a rude awakening come this fall,” the group said in its polling analysis. “Despite having been a candidate for only 20 weeks, recent survey results have Glenn Youngkin within the margin of error in the upcoming election against Terry McAuliffe.”
Mr. McAuliffe served as governor from 2014 to 2018 but could not run for reelection because Virginia bars governors from serving two conservative terms. It does not bar nonconsecutive terms.
Mr. McAuliffe rode strong name recognition and fundraising to secure the Democratic nomination this week and cruised to victory in a five-way race.
Mr. Youngkin, a former private equity firm CEO and political newcomer, won the Republican nomination last month at a party convention.
The WPA poll showed that Mr. Youngkin running neck and neck with Mr. McAuliffe among self-identified independent voters. Less than half of those surveyed said they had a favorable impression of Mr. McAuliffe.
The survey of 506 likely voters was conducted June 2-6 and released Wednesday. The margin of error is 4.4 percentage points.