With just more than a week to go until Election Day in Virginia, Democrats are sweating the first big political test of the post-Trump presidency era.
Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has been the favorite to win back his old perch since the beginning of the year.
He still is, but not as much of a favorite as he once was.
Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin’s personal wealth, Democrats’ inability to pass major legislation in Washington, and the decline of President Joe Biden’s job rating have all put Democrats on edge in the final weeks, and have Republicans smelling blood in a commonwealth where they haven’t won an election in over a decade.
Four years ago, Democratic disgust with President Donald Trump powered then-Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam to a 9-point victory over his GOP opponent, Ed Gillespie. That surge in enthusiasm presaged the Democrats’ substantial gains the following year, when the party won 40 seats and control of the U.S. House.
Now that Trump is out of the White House, banned from social media, and not on the ballot, it’s unclear how close turnout levels or Democratic enthusiasm will remain to the heights of the last four years. Democrats have done their best to make Trump a factor in the race and the former president does his best to keep his name in the news.
Democrats are less worried about anything McAuliffe has done than they are about the larger political environment, specifically the drop in Biden’s job rating, which stood at 44 percent…