The POLITICO Playbook stated this week that Democrats have officially "hit the panic button" in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
"This is the week Democrats officially hit the panic button in Virginia," Politico posted on Thursday. "Biden won the state by 10 points in 2020, but Terry McAuliffe, the former popular governor looking to return to Richmond, leads Republican Glenn Youngkin by just 2.5 points (48.1% to 45.5%)."
McAuliffe, a Democrat who was previously governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018, led in the polls by as many as 9 points in early September according to Real Clear Politics but the gap has significantly tightened recently with polls showing him leading by just 1-3 points, within the margin of error.
McAuliffe and Youngkin have gone back and forth on several key issues including Critical Race Theory, which is a hot button issue in schools across Virginia. Youngkin has promised to remove the teaching, which promotes the idea the United States is fundamentally racist, from schools while McAuliffe has dismissed concerns about the curriculum as a "racist dog whistle."
Despite his own sinking poll numbers, President Biden is set to campaign for McAuliffe in the coming weeks. Former President Obama is also expected to campaign for the former governor.
During a Zoom call earlier this month, McAuliffe acknowledged that Biden is unpopular in the state of Virginia and said his campaign needs to be focused on get out the vote efforts.