The ballot is set: Political analyst weighs in on the race for governor


RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) –The ballot is set in the race for Virginia’s next governor. Democrat Terry McAuliffe and republican Glenn Youngkin will face off this November.

McAuliffe defeated four other Democratic candidates by a wide margin on Tuesday night. He’s one step closer to becoming Virginia’s governor — again– after holding office from 2014 to 2018.

He’ll go head to head against Youngkin, a wealthy former private-equity executive and political newcomer. Over the next five months, 8News political analyst Rich Meagher said both candidates will preach bringing similar things to the table.

“Business acumen, powerful connections to party donors, wealth, success, and the know-how to run the state,” said Meagher.

McAuliffe is pushing for gun control, creating jobs, lowering health care costs, and so on. Conservative Youngkin is campaigning on lower taxes, economic growth, election integrity and more.

Republicans haven’t won a statewide race since 2010. We asked “what does Youngkin need to do to win this?”

“Virginia is a blue state, it just is,” he said. “Youngkin has to try to find a way to make a case to democrats, or to independents who lean democrat, that they need to vote for him,” he said.

Princess Blanding is also running as an independent. Meagher said he thinks the most exciting race this fall will be for Lieutenant Governor. Del. Hala Alala took the democratic nomination Tuesday night. She’s now running against republican former delegate Winsome Sears. Both women of color have lots of support from their parties.

Meagher said name recognition really mattered Tuesday night in all three of the biggest races: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.

In the fight for Governor, he said democrats wanted to pick a nominee they think could win in November, and McAuliffe had already won the same race less than 10 years ago. In this increasingly blue state, he said McAuliffe is the front runner right now, however he notes anything can happen in politics.

Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring won the democratic nomination and is seeking a third term.

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