Detailed assessment by Kyle Kondik and Miles Coleman:
"[L]et’s assume that the bulk of the polls are correct and that the race ends up being very close either way. Both of those possible results — a narrow win by either candidate — would suggest a significant falloff for Democrats from their strong Virginia performances in the Trump era and represent, at the very least, a bright red “check engine” light at the midpoint of the Democrats’ journey from last year’s presidential race to next year’s midterm....
We know based on President Biden’s sagging approval rating that the environment is, frankly, horrible for Democrats. As Washington Democrats have dithered over parallel negotiations to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a Democrats-only social spending package, they have seen numerous other problems mount. The messy withdrawal from Afghanistan dented perceptions of Biden’s competence, and he has not recovered. Other problems, like inflation, supply-chain problems, and gas prices — along with the lingering pandemic — have likely chipped away at Biden and the Democrats as well. Biden’s national approval rating is in the low-to-mid 40s, meaning that his approval is lagging several points behind his 51% of the national popular vote last year. The dropoff appears more stark in state-level polling. Biden got 54% in Virginia, but his approval rating in several polls is often 10 points or more worse than that. We’ve seen similar Biden drop-offs in other recently-released polls in states bluer than Virginia, such as Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey."
From a Post story on VA:
"But, for some voters here who have watched the governor’s race play out amid intraparty divisions in Washington, the feeling that Democrats are defined by deadlock has set in. And they wonder if the president is soft."
Now, where would they get that idea?