WASHINGTON — Speaking from Glasgow on Tuesday, President Biden offered a succinct take on the gubernatorial race in Virginia.
“We’re gonna win,” he said during a press conference from the Scottish city where the international climate change conference known as COP26 is being held. “I think we’re gonna win in Virginia,” he repeated, even as he conceded that the race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin was “very close,” far closer than anyone had expected.
Tuesday is Election Day in the state.
McAuliffe has already served as Virginia’s governor once, while Youngkin is a former finance executive who has been harnessing discontent over cultural issues to come within striking distance of the gubernatorial mansion in Richmond. Some polls show Youngkin ahead.
“We all knew from the beginning this could be a tight race,” Biden said, adding that off-year elections like this one are inherently “unpredictable.” He rejected the notion that McAuliffe’s struggles were deepened by Biden’s inability to have his multitrillion-dollar domestic agenda passed by Congress, where Democrats control both chambers.
Biden campaigned with McAuliffe last week. “Today’s Republican Party nationally is for nothing,” he told prospective voters. Democrats had been trying to goad former President Donald Trump into involvement in the race in hopes that his support of Youngkin would help McAuliffe.
The former president lost badly in Virginia one year ago. Trump did not campaign in person for Youngkin, however, and Democrats have grown increasingly alarmed at their prospects in Virginia.
Biden predicted that Democrats would retain the governorship of New Jersey too. Polls indicate that to be a safer bet.
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