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Northam increases lead in Virginia gubernatorial race

Former President Barack Obama, right, gestures during a rally with Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: AP/Steve Helber

Democratic candidate Ralph Northam secured his lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race, officially earning 50% approval to his opponent's 43%, according to a poll released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy.

Democrats were sweating earlier this week when polls showed Northam leading by just 4% and a previous poll showed him leading, though there were many undecided voters. A loss for Northam could trigger a similar Bernie vs. Hillary split we saw during the 2016 election, as Northam beat Bernie Sanders-backed primary challenger Tom Perriello.

Battle lines: While Gillespie leads among white voters, the poll finds Northam leads among young and old, women and men, and African-American voters.

Down-ballot races are led by Dems, too, though the races are tightening. The Dem candidates for the state AG and lieutenant governor races lead by 5% and 3%, respectively.