A poll out this afternoon from Monmouth University shows Republican Ed Gillespie just edging out Democrat Ralph Northam in the race for Virginia governor, 48 to 47 percent. This is the first poll to put Gillespie in the lead, but recent forecasts of the race have shown the gap between the two candidates narrowing as the Republican slowly gains on his opponent.
According to a Wason Center survey of likely voters out just this morning, current lieutenant governor Northam is leading former Republican National Committee chair Gillespie by only 4 percent — 48 to 44 percent — and 5 percent of Virginia likely voters remain undecided with the race three weeks away. This is the first Wason Center poll of the Virginia race that puts Northam’s lead within the survey’s margin of error. In the group’s benchmark poll from September 25, Northam led by 6 percent.
Of course, no single poll can reliably predict the outcome of an election. But this Monmouth survey should serve as an important reminder for Democrats who are feeling a little too comfortable about Northam’s chances to cross the finish line with a win on November 7. In a race that many are reading as a referendum on Trump and the GOP, pundits and casual viewers alike should remember our current president’s last-minute comeback as October bled into November. It’s not out of the question that Gillespie could pull off something similar in Virginia.