LOUDOUN, Virginia — The fairgrounds in Northern Virginia’s wealthy suburb of Loudoun County were packed Monday night, buzzing with high energy as lines of cars rolled in to see Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin is concluding his 50-stop “Win with Glenn” bus tour in Loudoun, the county at the center of the national debates over education policy issues such as Critical Race Theory, transgender policies in schools, and the requirement that students wear masks.
According to several polls, education policy has shot to the top of Virginians’ priority issues after the final gubernatorial debate at the end of September, when the Democrat candidate, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, asserted, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
The Virginia Democrat opened floodgates with the one-sentence message as he was hit with a massive barrage of criticism, while Youngkin seized on the moment to highlight his parent-centric education plans.
Throughout October, McAuliffe has watched his lead in polls diminish while Youngkin, the underdog in the blue-leaning state, has gained significant ground, taking a narrow lead in polling averages charted by both FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics.
While most polls still pit the two candidates in a virtual tie — within the margins of error — the crowds at Youngkin’s final rallies have dominated in enthusiasm, with more than 2,000 showing up for his Virginia Beach rally on Monday and at least 3,000 at his culminating Loudoun event.
Election Day is Tuesday, and while more than a million Virginians have cast their votes early, the number represents only a portion of the Virginia electorate. Polls for the remaining voters will be open Tuesday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected].