NORFOLK, Va. - With the Virginia primary election in the books, all sights are now set on November 2, when voters will head back to the polls to choose who will represent the Commonwealth in the general election.
News 3’s political analysts, Dr. Eric Claville of Norfolk State University and Dr. Jesse Richman of Old Dominion University, say when it comes to the gubernatorial election between Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, it will be an election with a lot at stake.
They said they see opportunities for both nominees in this race.
McAuliffe, having prior experience as governor of Virginia, fundraising at different levels and experience in state and national politics.
“McAuliffe is in an advantageous position,” Richman said. “He's the closest thing you'd ever see in Virginia to an incumbent running for governor.”
Meanwhile, they believe Youngkin has a chance being an outsider, and with his background in business to bring to the table.
One topic they expect both to campaign on are jobs in the Commonwealth.
“I look for the gloves to come off,” Claville said. “I look for it to be a watershed moment for the Republican party - the shaping of it; the expansion of it. And, I look for the Democrats to really capitalize upon this election and continue to expand their policies within state government.”
As far as turnout goes, both said it will depend on how the candidates get their base to the polls.
Richman expects high turnouts this fall. Claville told News 3 many took advantage of early voting this primary and believes that trend is here to stay and will ultimately increase turnout.
They also emphasized the 2021 Virginia election being one of the first statewide elections in the country post-Donald Trump.
Claville said he foresees this year as being a moment Democrats utilize to expand their base and will give Republicans the chance to understand who they are and what they really want to be when looking at future voters.