- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2021

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin is confident he has the edge with early voters over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the campaign’s final stretch.

“I felt like their early voting was very much representative of our strength. In fact, turnout for my opponent was really light and soft, and we had strong turnout,” Mr. Youngkin told Fox News on Monday afternoon. “And so we expect to do very well with the early voting and the momentum that we’re seeing on the campaign trail. It’s just huge.”

At a rally in Henrico County over the weekend, Mr. McAuliffe claimed that Democrats had a “big lead on the early vote.”

Virginia adopted no-excuse, in-person early voting for the first time this cycle and voters began casting ballots on Sept. 17 until Saturday. Voters will go to the polls again on Tuesday, Election Day.  

Mr. Youngkin, who is essentially tied in polls with the former governor of Virginia, is said to be pulling away from Mr. McAuliffe in a handful of surveys released last week, including a Fox News poll showing the Republican political newcomer with an 8-point lead.

But concern remains among Mr. Youngkin‘s supporters that Mr. McAuliffe‘s legal team, led by longtime veteran elections attorney Marc Elias, is prepared to contest the election Tuesday if the margin of victory is too narrow.

More recently, the Elias law group filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service arguing that local branches did not process and deliver election-related material in time for hundreds of thousands of Virginians to cast their ballots by the necessary deadline.

Mr. Youngkin says he expects his win over Mr. McAuliffe to be so overwhelming Tuesday night, he is unconcerned about last-minute ballot recounts to foil a victory.

“This is just right out of his playbook. I mean, he wrote it…This is what a failing politician does when they see the sun setting on their 43-year political career,” Mr. Youngkin told Marc Levin on Fox News Sunday night. “He can hire as many lawyers as he wants. The Virginia voters are absolutely making a bold statement, and this is not going to be a close election. You can just see us pulling away.”

He added, “We’re winning local races all over. Sheriff races, school board races, school boards matter. This is going to be a big statement. A lawyer that my opponent hires is not going to make a difference because this is going to be an overwhelming victory.”

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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