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New Survey Release: McAuliffe leads Youngkin, 50%-41%, for Virginia Governor; Democrats also lead for Lt. Governor, Attorney General

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New Survey Release: August 26, 2021

McAuliffe leads Youngkin, 50%-41%, for Virginia Governor; Democrats also lead for Lt. Governor, Attorney General

The full report can be found at

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. –  Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and his Democratic running mates hold significant leads over Glenn Youngkin and the Republican ticket as campaigning swings into high gear for the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election, according to a survey of likely voters released today by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership and AARP Virginia.

McAuliffe reaches the 50% threshold over Youngkin, 50% to 41%. He shows particularly strong support from women (55% to 36%) and younger voters (52% to 34%), and also leads Youngkin among voters 50 and older (49% to 44%). Youngkin has very solid support from the Republican base (95%). Regionally, Youngkin is strongest in South/Southwestern Virginia (53% to 37%), while McAuliffe has strong support in Northern Virginia (59% to 33%), the Richmond area (48% to 40%) and Hampton Roads (52% to 41%).

“These numbers reflect a state that continues to trend blue in presidential and statewide elections as demographic shifts endure in the Commonwealth,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo. “While there is still room for movement in the race, Youngkin has a tightrope to walk between Trump supporters and more moderate voters across the suburbs of Virginia.”

In the contest for lieutenant governor, Democratic Del. Hala Ayala leads former Republican Del. Winsome Sears by 10 points (52% to 42%), with 6% undecided. Ayala’s support is driven primarily by younger voters (57% to 35%), Black voters (84% to 6%) and women (55% to 38%). Sears holds the Republican base (95%), voters in the South/Southwest region (54% to 37%) and a slight majority of white voters (51% to 44%).

Seeking a third term as attorney general, Democratic incumbent Mark Herring stands in majority territory, leading Republican Del. Jason Miyares, 53% to 41%, with 6% undecided. Among the conventional Democratic base of women, Black voters and younger voters, incumbent Herring’s support slightly outperforms his running mates higher on the ballot.

“It’s a long way to Election Day,” said AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau. “Candidates should take the opportunity to talk with voters about the issues important to them.”

AARP Virginia will later release the additional research in this survey that explores how voters across the state feel about – and expect candidates to address – key health and financial security challenges that impact Virginians of all ages.

The results of this survey are based on 800 Virginia registered voters who are likely general election voters, including 277 on landline and 523 on cell phone, conducted Aug. 15-23, 2021. The margin of error for the whole survey is +/- 3.6%.

The full report can be found at

For more information, please contact:

          Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo, Wason Center Research Director

          Office: (757) 594-9140


          Twitter: @becky_btru

          Dr. Quentin Kidd, Wason Center Academic Director

          Office: (757) 594-8499


          Twitter: @QuentinKidd

          Tom Kramer, Wason Center Executive Director

          Office: (757) 594-8671


          Twitter: @Tom_Kramer

          Ginger Thompson, AARP Virginia Communications Director

          Office: (804) 344-3061


About the Wason Center

The Wason Center has a 10-year track record of providing citizens and lawmakers unbiased, nonpartisan insight into the policy issues shaping the future of the commonwealth. More than 100 students work side-by-side with talented faculty to produce survey research and political analysis that informs decisions by citizens and lawmakers in Virginia, and increasingly around the country.

About AARP Virginia

With nearly 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50+ and their families in the Commonwealth. To learn more about AARP Virginia, like us on Facebook at and follow @AARPVa on Twitter at

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability, and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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