Online bettors have flipped on their predictions for the Virginia gubernatorial race, with Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin surging in the days before the election, while Democratic former Gov. Terry McAuliffe fades.
The line for the Old Dominion gubernatorial race on online betting service PredictIt flipped in favor of Youngkin on Friday, days ahead of Election Day in the race considered to be the 2022 congressional election cycle bellwether.
McAuliffe lost his commanding lead in the betting pool swiftly, with Youngkin’s lead widening sizably by Monday.
MCAULIFFE EVENTS SEE SMALL CROWDS DAYS BEFORE VIRGINIA ELECTION
Maxim Lott, the founder of ElectionBettingOdds.com, told Fox News in a Monday email that, for most of the race, “bettors thought McAuliffe would win because Virginia has been a blue state in recent years.”
“Since 2004, only Democrats have won Virginia at the presidential, Senate, or gubernatorial levels,” said Lott, who periodically reports for Fox News. He noted that “one exception” was the election of former GOP Gov. Robert McDonnell in 2009. “However, with Election Day nearing, bettors now give Youngkin a slight edge.”
“The shift in the betting odds over the last month moved along with voters, who changed their minds largest based on education policy,” Lott continued. “A Washington Post poll found that in September, voters who care most about education favored McAuliffe dramatically, by 33 points. Now those voters favor Youngkin.”
“Historically, betting odds are the best single predictor of election outcomes, because bettors are ‘putting money where their mouth is’ and so they have every incentive to make the right call,” he also wrote.
As of Monday, Youngkin bets are sitting at 55 cents while McAuliffe’s betting price is 49 cents.
According to the data, McAuliffe’s betting price straddled the high 70s and low 80s over the past 90 days, with a sharp drop illustrating bettors’ declining confidence in McAuliffe to pull off a win.
Conversely, Youngkin’s betting prices were stuck in the mid-20s for the same time period, shooting up in popularity over the last few days of the election.
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Polls, meanwhile, have similarly shown Youngkin’s numbers surging and McAuliffe’s numbers plummeting.
The latest Fox News poll shows McAuliffe receives 45% to Youngkin’s 53% in a survey of likely voters. Youngkin’s eight-point advantage is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.