WASHINGTON — Voters in Virginia are choosing their next governor Tuesday, a vote with wide-reaching implications for both the sitting U.S. president and his ever-present predecessor.
Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have a lot riding on whether former Democrat governor Terry McAuliffe or newcomer Republican Glenn Youngkin emerge the victor in what appears to be a neck-and-neck race.
McAuliffe is seeking a return engagement after he was first elected to the post in 2013 — Virginia's term limits prohibit governors from running for back-to-back terms.
But recent polls suggest he may be trailing Youngkin, a self-proclaimed "political outsider" and Trump acolyte whose campaign has sought to distance him from the former president.
A loss for Democrats will widely be seen as a repudiation of Biden, who is nursing dismal approval numbers, and a clear sign that control of Congress is likely to land in Republican hands after next year's midterms.
And it could help to energize Trump, who is widely believed to be planning a political comeback of his own in 2024.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2021.
The Canadian Press