Tuesday afternoon, Joe Biden projected confidence that Democrat Terry McAuliffe would emerge victorious in the gubernatorial election.
“I think we’re going to win in Virginia,” Biden said a few hours before polls closed. “The race is very close, so, it is about who shows up, who turns out, and granted, I did win by a large margin.”
Biden acknowledged that turnout would be critical.
Despite his confidence, with 72 percent reporting, Youngkin leads 54% to 45%. Networks aren’t jumping to call the race yet, but things are looking great for Youngkin.
Biden may have predicted victory, but he nevertheless attempted to distance himself from the outcome of the race.
“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.”
But Biden was clearly a factor in this election, and he knows it. After weeks of pundits linking the election to him and his agenda, he clearly wasn’t confident enough to put all his chips on a McAuliffe victory. His approval ratings in the state—which he won a year ago by ten points—are now underwater.