Why Virginia's 2021 election matters

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4 min read
fairly easy
Virginia's gubernatorial election is now less than three weeks away... A big question for national political followers is whether Virginia will continue a trend we saw among voters in the California recall: a decline in President Joe Biden's standing.
(CNN) Virginia's gubernatorial election is now less than three weeks away. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe hopes to keep the governor's mansion in Democratic hands, while Glenn Youngkin hopes to become the first Republican to win a statewide race in Virginia since 2009.

A big question for national political followers is whether Virginia will continue a trend we saw among voters in the California recall : a decline in President Joe Biden's standing. History tells us that such a decline can foretell massive midterm problems for the sitting president's party.

Biden easily won the 2020 presidential race in the Old Dominion. His 10-point victory was the largest for any Democrat there since 1944 , when Franklin Delano Roosevelt won his fourth term. Biden's favorable rating in the exit poll stood at 52% with an unfavorable rating of 47%, which was good enough for a +5 point net favorability rating. An average of pre-election and post-election data put his net favorability rating at closer to +10 points.

The polling today paints a different picture of how voters view the President. Biden sports a -2 points net popularity rating in an average of recent polls in a state he won by 10 points.

The fact that Biden's numbers are where they are shouldn't be surprising. This 12-point turnaround mirrors what we're seeing nationally. His net approval rating (approve - disapprove) among voters is at about -5 points, while he won nationally by 4.5 points.

Additionally, this downward trend is similar to what we saw in California. Yes,…
Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN
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