First the good news. A University of Mary Washington poll taken the second week of September shows that Republican Glenn Youngkin is ahead of Terry McAuliffe in the race for governor. Youngkin has the support of 48 percent of likely voters while McAwful has the support of 43 percent. Two percent will vote for third-party candidate Princess Blanding, and five percent are undecided. In prior polls, McAwful had held a slight lead.
Another bit of good news is that the same poll shows that Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Winsome Sears holds a six percentage point lead over Hala Ayala (47 percent to 41 percent), and Republican Attorney General candidate Jason Miyares holds a 46 percent to 42 percent advantage over incumbent Mark Herring.
Among all those surveyed, 49 percent think the nation is moving in the wrong direction while only 23 percent say it is moving in the right direction.
In Northern Virginia, instead of the usual double-digit lead for the Democrat, McAwful is favored by only 48 percent of likely voters, while Youngkin has the support of 45 percent.
Now the warning – or perhaps I should say warnings (plural).
Republicans tend to think that when they are ahead in the polls they don’t have to work as hard. But poll numbers change, and the Republican lead in this poll is not substantial when considering the margin-of-error for surveys. Not only can Republicans not slow down, we must redouble our efforts to win. Democrats have an eleven-million-dollar war chest aimed directly at Virginia. They intend to retain control of the state any way they can.
Secondly, the Republican Party and the Youngkin campaign have been working for months to counter known and suspected election fraud tactics. But countering these tactics requires a lot of volunteers. Early voting started several days ago yet people can still register to vote. We need more people (up to 15,000) to volunteer to get trained and to watch what goes on in registrar’s offices and in polling places for as many shifts as they can work. The logistics are astounding, but our statewide team of hard working coordinators are pulling the pieces together. Their jobs would be easier and our ballot integrity efforts would be more effective if they had more volunteers. It isn’t too late to have an important role in the battle for ballot integrity. Just step up to the plate by calling or emailing either your local Republican committee or the RPV to get involved in the process of having an honest election in Virginia this year.
Third, go vote. NOW. You can vote early during normal business hours at your local registrar’s office. If you vote early, no one else can come in and say they are you and vote in your place. If your local registrar’s office says they sent you an absentee ballot and you neither requested nor received one, immediately contact the RPV for information on what to do to rescue your vote. (See Hotline information below.)
If a member of your family has died in the last two years, go by your registrar’s office and fill out a form so that the deceased can be removed from the voter rolls before someone votes in their name. See if you can find out whether an absentee ballot has been sent to the deceased. Please inform the RPV if a ballot has been issued (see below). If you happen to have a copy of the death certificate, take it with you when you go to complete the form. In any event, you need to fill out the form – sooner rather than later.
VOTE. Too many people have told me that they don’t plan to vote because the elections are rigged anyway. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. We are shutting down many of the avenues of potential fraud, but we cannot shut them all down – yet. The solution is to get as many conservatives as possible out to vote. This is the only way to offset the legitimate and illegitimate votes for McAwful, Ayala, and Herring as well as House of Delegates candidates. We must get every legitimate conservative voter to the polls, hopefully early, but at least by election day. Imagine another four years of what we have now. I’d rather not.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.
Election Integrity Hotline