- Virginia is holding Democratic primaries for key statewide offices on Tuesday.
- Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe easily clinched the nomination for his old office.
- Polls in Virginia closed at 7 p.m. ET.
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Virginia voters are casting their ballots for June 8th’s Democratic primaries for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Polls closed at 7 p.m. ET.
Governors can only serve one term at a time under the Virginia constitution, meaning current Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam can’t run for a second consecutive term.
Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe easily clinch the Democratic nomination for the governorship, which he previously held before Northam from 2014 to 2018.
The latest poll of the primary, conducted by Roanoke College, found McAuliffe leading the field by a wide margin. The poll, conducted from May 24 to June 1, surveyed 637 likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of ±3.9 points.
In the survey, 49% of likely Democratic voters said they had already voted or planned to vote for McAuliffe, 16% for House Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, 11% for Del. Jennifer McClellan, and 27% undecided. Two other candidates, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Del. Lee Carter, polled in the single digits.
McAuliffe will face businessman Glenn Youngkin, who was chosen as the GOP nominee by a select number of party members in a May 8 ranked-choice party convention, with delegates casting their votes at locations around the state.
Virginia Republicans, who opted for the convention format over a traditional primary, selected Youngkin over two GOP members of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox and Amanda Chase, and entrepreneur Pete Snyder.
McAuliffe is favored by election analysts to defeat Youngkin in the November general election in Virginia, which has trended from a swing state to solidly Democratic territory over the past two decades. The Virginia governor’s race is currently rated as “likely Democratic” by Inside Elections and the Cook Political Report, and as “leans Democratic” by the Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Historically, however, Virginia gubernatorial elections have tended to be more difficult for the party that won the presidential election the prior year, so Democrats aren’t guaranteed a win.
The outcome of the open Democratic primary for lieutenant governor is far less certain. The Roanoke poll found that 45% of voters polled were undecided, with 16% supporting Democratic Del. Hala Ayala, 11% supporting Del. Sam Rasoul, also a Democrat, and the rest of the candidates polling in the single digits.
In the race for attorney general, Democratic incumbent Mark Herring faces a primary challenge from Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones, a fellow Democrat. The Roanoke College poll found that 50% of voters had voted for or planned to vote for Herring with 20% for Jones and 28% of voters undecided.