But, if the turnout this year matches that of the 2017 Democratic primary – 550,000 – it means that only about 1 in 5 primary voters have cast their ballots. The job for campaigns is getting the rest to the polls by Tuesday night.
In the Richmond metro area, about 16,000 people had voted as of Saturday.
McAuliffe, governor from 2014 to 2018, looms large over the race. With high name recognition and fundraising figures, he’s benefited from the trappings of incumbency, though Virginia does not let its governors serve consecutive terms. While polls give him a significant lead, McAuliffe’s last day on the campaign trail will see him start off in Bristol in Virginia’s Southwest and make stops in Richmond, Roanoke and Norfolk.
A poll out Friday from Roanoke College showed McAuliffe had the support of 49% of likely primary voters; Carroll Foy was at 11%, followed by McClellan at 9%, Fairfax at 5% and Carter at 1%. The poll surveyed 637 likely Democratic primary voters between May 24 and June 1. Its margin of error was plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
In Richmond, McAuliffe will try to usher voters to the polls with an event in the early evening at Hardywood Park and Craft Brewery in Scott’s Addition.
Carroll Foy and McClellan of Richmond are challenging McAuliffe, saying Virginia needs to bring a new perspective to the governor’s office; either would become the first Black woman elected governor in the U.S.
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