NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — With Election Day in Virginia just one week away, a local expert is weighing in on what the results will mean for the rest of the country.
Dr. Eric Claville is a legal and political analyst at Norfolk State University.
He says within the past month, the gap has tightened between front runners former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin.
“We’ve seen the polls really change drastically. We’ve seen this race tighten tremendously. I believe a lot of voters are energized by the different messages but the down-the-ballot races as well. This has proven to be a close race. This has proven to be an intriguing race for many, many reasons,” he said.
Polls currently show McAuliffe and Youngkin tied at 48%. Liberation Party Princess Blanding is also on the ballot.
Claville says the polls are reminiscent of polling during McAuliffe’s win back in 2013 except the third party candidate then was polling at higher numbers.
Right now, campaigns need to focus on messaging and getting their supporters out if they want to win, Claville said.
“This election is all about messaging and getting your base out. We see a lot of new voters were registered in the last presidential election. We did not see a much higher registration for new voters leading up to this gubernatorial election. Those voters who are registered, those voters who have voted in the last presidential election is going to bore down to getting those voters to the polls that are registered to those specific parties and supporting those candidates,” he said.
When voters do hit the polls next week, Claville says they’ll be thinking about a number of issues specifically the economy, education, and the future of Virginia.
And, the results from next Tuesday will set the tone for elections nationwide.
“I think the voters in Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth are going to make a major statement as it relates to who the next leader is in the state. In addition to that, I believe the entire country is paying attention because the Commonwealth of Virginia is going to shape the messaging of the mid-term elections in 2022 and the presidential election of 2024,” he said.