News & Politics

Crowd Sizes Could Tell the Tale in Virginia Governor's Race

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

In the final days of the governor’s race in Virginia, polling averages are showing a dead heat between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin.

Both sides held rallies on Saturday, and the size of the crowds in attendance may tell the story about which way momentum is swinging on the last weekend before the election.

Fox News reports that McAuliffe held a rally in Norfolk with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in attendance, and only about 40 people showed up.

At his rally, McAuliffe praised the early vote totals in Virginia:

“As of this morning we have had over a million early votes,” the Democratic candidate told his supporters, adding that an estimated 100,000 more Virginians are expected to vote today.

“I’m happy to report we are substantially leading in the early vote,” McAuliffe said.

The small crowd size may well reflect the fact that McAuliffe’s support is slipping, or it could just mean that nobody wants to see Tim Kaine. Both scenarios are equally plausible.

Related: Democrats Panicking in Virginia as Youngkin Draws Even With McAuliffe

Youngkin held his own rally in Alexandria with about 200 people in attendance. The GOP candidate encouraged concerned Virginians to go out and vote on Tuesday:

The GOP challenger said Saturday that this governor’s race was not about “Democrat v. Republican” but said it was a “new way forward for Virginia.”

“This is about the values that Virginians hold dear,” Youngkin told reporters. “It’s about Virginians standing up for our new way forward.

For those keeping score, Youngkin brought in five times as many attendees as McAuliffe. Do those crowd sizes reflect momentum swinging toward the GOP candidate, or do they demonstrate a lack of enthusiasm for the former Democrat governor working for a second stint in the governor’s mansion?

Of course, we won’t really know what it all means until the polls close on Tuesday.