Administration

Biden predicts McAuliffe victory in Virginia governor race

President Biden on Tuesday predicted Democrat Terry McAuliffe would win the closely watched Virginia gubernatorial race, even as polls have shown him even or trailing heading into Election Day.

“We’re going to win. I think we’re going to win in Virginia,” Biden said at a press conference in Scotland, acknowledging it would be a close race between McAuliffe and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin and would come down to voter turnout.

The president also expressed confidence New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) would win reelection on Tuesday.

Biden rejected the premise that McAuliffe’s fate is tied to his own performance since taking office in January, arguing off-year elections are often unpredictable.

“I don’t believe, and I’ve not seen any evidence that whether or not I am doing well or poorly, whether or not I’ve got my agenda passed or not is going to have any real impact on winning or losing,” Biden said. “Even if we had passed my agenda, I wouldn’t claim we won because Biden’s agenda passed.”

Tuesday’s electoral slate features multiple state and local elections, as well as some special elections at the congressional level. But most eyes will be on Virginia, where McAuliffe and Youngkin are squaring off in a state Biden won in 2020 by 10 percentage points.

Polls in recent weeks have shifted to show Youngkin, a businessman, pulling even or ahead of McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia and former Democratic National Committee chairman.

Biden, Vice President Harris and first lady Jill Biden have all campaigned alongside McAuliffe in recent weeks to try to boost him across the finish line.

Tags 2021 Virginia governor election Jill Biden Joe Biden Virginia election

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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