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Tight race to hinge on turnout, analyst says

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:07 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The debates are ancient history.

By Monday night, the rallies will be over, and the last wave of campaign ads will be hitting the airwaves.

But in the final hours of the campaign, there’s no rest for weary staffers and volunteers.

“Right now, it’s a ground game,” said Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton. “It’s about phone banks. It’s about canvassing. And it is right now, the candidates hitting those places that they need a strong turnout.”

More than 1.3 million Virginians have already cast ballots, a figure that could make up a third of the total vote, and break records for an off-year election.

And Denton will be watching closely on Election Night to see who is voting where.

“For Youngkin, quite frankly at the end of the day he needs a 70% or more turnout in southside and southwest. That and married white women will determine his victory,” Denton said. “For McAuliffe of course, it is the African American vote. He needs strong turnout there, and of course the vote in northern Virginia. That’s where he will win or lose.”

And don’t forget the other races on the ballot. What happens at the top could have an impact on the other statewide campaigns, and on the House of Delegates, where control of the chamber could be in play.

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