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Two different paths toward the same goal: McAuliffe, Youngkin employ different campaign strategies

McAuliffe has many top-tier Democrats campaigning. On the other side, the Republican Party's biggest name is nowhere to be seen on the trail for Youngkin.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. —
With one week to go until Virginia's election for governor, the two candidates are employing strikingly different strategies.

Terry McAuliffe has many top-tier Democrats campaigning for him: President Biden, former President Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris to name a few.

On the other side, the Republican Party's biggest name is nowhere to be seen on the campaign trail for Glenn Youngkin.

Former President Donald Trump, who usually packs them in wherever he goes, has been absent this fall in Virginia. And that could be by design.

"In the closing weeks of this campaign, the Youngkin campaign, Glenn Youngkin has decided to distance himself from Donald Trump," said   Christopher Newport University political science professor and Wason Center for Civic Leadership Director Quentin Kidd.

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Kidd says that hasn't always been the case.

"Early on, of course when he was running in the Republican convention early in his campaign, he was sort of playing footsie with the Trump base," said Kidd. "He's not doing anything like that right now because the voters who have held out so far that could vote for him are not the Trump base voters. They are the most moderate voters who don't like Donald Trump. And so, part of the problem is, Youngkin doesn't have surrogates from that side of the Republican Party that are going to help him."

Kidd says there are two totally different strategies playing out.

"You're seeing both campaigns do what they have to do within the constraints that they have," he said. "One has the constraint of not having a lot of surrogates that are going to speak to the voters he needs late in the game. The other one has the constraint of needing to speak to a set of voters and him not being able to. So he has to bring surrogates to do that for him."

The Wason Center will release its final pre-election poll on Wednesday.