Analysis: Why Virginia's 2021 election matters

Biden sports a -2 points net popularity rating in an average of recent polls in a state he won by 10 points.
His net approval rating (approve - disapprove) among voters is at about -5 points, while he won nationally by 4.5 points.
At the same time, Biden's net approval rating in the exit poll was +23 points.
Look back at the exit polls in the last three governor's races:In 2009, former President Barack Obama scored a -3 point net approval rating.
This came after he won Virginia by 6 points -- a swing of 9 points away from him.
In 2013, Obama had a -7 point net approval rating after winning in Virginia by 4 points the previous year.
In 2017, former President Donald Trump came in with a very bad -17 point net approval rating.
While the exact numbers differ from year-to-year, there is a consistent 10-point or so drop from the margin in the presidential race to the president's net approval rating each cycle.
The correlation between a president's approval rating and any individual gubernatorial results can be shaky.
That was nearly identical to Biden's net approval rating in the exit polls.
The good news for Democrats: If Biden's ratings are bad in Virginia next month, Election Day 2022 is a year away.
They'll have to hope that the recent past is not a precedent, and Biden sees an upswing in his approval rating over the next year.