Education is now the top issue for voters in the Virginia governor's race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, with the two candidates neck and neck in the final stretch according to a new poll.
The latest Washington Post-Schar School poll released Friday shows education is now the number one issue with 24% of Virginia voters citing it as such, up nine points from the previous poll taken last month.
In September, the top issue was the economy for voters in the commonwealth, with 27% pointing to it as the priority at the time. The latest numbers show the economy as the second-most important issue at 23%.
The results from the survey conducted Oct. 20-26 is good news for Youngkin, who has gained the support of a majority of parents after making education the key issue in the campaign.
Virginia voters who cited education as their top priority favored McAuliffe by 33 points in September, but the latest numbers show they now favor Youngkin by nine points.
The Washington Post-Schar School's October numbers also showed that the race has narrowed further between McAuliffe and Youngkin, with the Democrat falling from 50% of likely voters' support in September to 49% this month. The percentage of likely voters that favor Youngkin went from 47% to 48% over the past month.
Up until a few weeks ago, McAuliffe led the race in every poll, but the tide began to turn after the Democrat – who previously served as governor of the commonwealth – declared last month, "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they need to teach."
Youngkin, in contrast, has taken the side of parents who have been pushing back against curriculums featuring critical race theory and school libraries offering books with pornographic content available to students. Two of the school boards that have received the most national bad press over parents' frustrations are Virginia's Loudoun and Fairfax counties.
The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2.