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UVA Center for Politics shares what’s different about third Democratic gubernatorial debate

The first televised debate of Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary started out tame...
The first televised debate of Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary started out tame Tuesday evening, with almost 25 minutes of civil discussion about how the five candidates onstage plan to lead the state out of it.(Virginia State University)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 9:20 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Democratic candidates in Virginia’s gubernatorial race will face off in their third of four debates on Thursday, May 20, and the UVA Center for Politics says there’s been one major change since the last debate.

J. Miles Coleman says now that Republicans have chosen their statewide ticket this debate is different than the others. While he expects many of the candidates to attack front-runner Terry McAuliffe, he says the former governor can now adopt a new strategy.

“What I can see him doing is saying, ‘OK, well I’m going to be the best candidate to take on Glenn Youngkin.’ I thought it was very telling that even the day after Youngkin got the nomination the McAuliffe campaign was out with an ad,” Coleman said.

Coleman says the one factor that could still shift the race dramatically is if one of the candidates drops out and consolidates support, but he acknowledges that looks unlikely as of now.

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