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Democrats and Republicans vie for Governorship in Virginia

Posted on in Democratic Party · Republican Party · Campaigns & Elections · Public Opinion

Virginia voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to elect the next leader of the Old Dominion state. Incumbent governor Ralph Northam is term limited and cannot run for reelection.

The campaign to replace Northam is the most expensive contests for governor in Virginia’s history and both parties are betting that a win Tuesday will propel them to victory in the 2022 midterm elections. Former governor Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic nominee, and he is challenged by Republican businessman, and political newcomer, Glenn Youngkin.

Why is the gubernatorial race close considering President Biden won the state by ten points?

INSTRUCTORS: click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.


News Articles:

Fox News poll aside, Virginia’s gubernatorial race is too close to call



Virginia’s governor’s race remains a dead heat in polls, but Democrats lead in early voting



McAuliffe, Youngkin make final pleas in Virginia’s race for governor

Washington Post


Virginia governor’s race now hinges on education, and one candidate has a clear edge: poll

Fox News


News Articles (Analyses):

Youngkin, McAuliffe Tangle Over Education in Bid for Suburban Virginia Voters

U.S. News and World Report


Loudoun County Schools Are At The Center Of Virginia’s Elections

WAMU 88.5


Virginia governor race highlights irony of banning ‘Beloved’ from schools

NBC News


How this suburban school board became the hottest issue in the Virginia governor’s race

USA Today



Writing: Explain why Virginia does not allow governors to serve consecutive terms. Why do some argue that the setup impairs the governor’s ability to govern effectively?  

Debate: Does the media adequately cover the issues of a campaign, or do they put too much emphasis on who is winning in the polls?  

Poll: Should Virginia amend its constitution to allow governors to serve consecutive terms?  

Short Answer: Why are more critics questioning the accuracy of public opinion polls?


Which of these answers is true about the Virginia governor?

a. the Virginia governor is barred from serving consecutive terms

b. candidates for governor in Virginia must run in a nonpartisan election

c. candidates for governor in Virginia must run in midterm and presidential election years

d. the Virginia governor is limited to a single term and is barred from pursuing the office again

Which issue has Glenn Youngkin used to appeal to independent voters that usually favors Democrats?

a. crime

b. the economy

c. education

d. taxes

How has Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats tried to blunt the momentum of the Youngkin campaign?

a. repeatedly talking about Youngkin’s legal problems

b. focusing on Youngkin’s long record in public service

c. repudiating President Biden’s policies

d. trying to tie Youngkin to former President Trump

Virginia is the only state that prohibits a governor from seeking reelection. (T/F)

Virginia was once a reliably Republican state. (T/F)

The party that holds the presidency typically gains congressional seats in the midterm elections. (T/F)

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