U.S. President Biden believes McAuliffe will win Virginia

McAuliffe v Youngkin in Virginia

McAuliffe v Youngkin in Virginia

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he thinks fellow Democrat Terry McAuliffe will be elected governor of Virginia, as voters cast their ballots in what he said will be a “tight race.”

“We all knew from the beginning it’s gonna be tight race,” Biden said, anticipating a result could come late in the night and be driven by how well the party did in getting voters to the polls.

Biden spoke on the sideline of the Climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Virginians will soon end voting today in the extremely close race that could signal whether Republicans or Democrats will have an advantage in U.S. congressional elections next year.

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Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a party fixture who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, has seen his lead over Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin in opinion polls evaporate in recent weeks.

A McAuliffe loss in Virginia, which Democratic President Joe Biden won by a double-digit margin over Republican then-President Donald Trump last year, would sound alarm bells for national Democrats.

Cultural issues have dominated the gubernatorial race, with Youngkin promising to give parents more control over how public schools handle race, gender and COVID-19 protocols, and McAuliffe vowing to protect abortion access and voting rights.

Polls leading up to Election Day showed that Youngkin closed the gap with McAuliffe by appealing to independent voters – a group that was alienated in 2020 by Trump’s firebrand style of politics but was more drawn to Youngkin’s congenial manner -despite McAuliffe’s attempts to tie Youngkin to the former president.