That’s a challenge that Mr. McAuliffe takes seriously.

After he clinched an easy victory in the Democratic primary Tuesday night, Mr. McAuliffe — who is seeking to replace Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat who is constitutionally barred from seeking another term — sought to rouse his party by warning them that Mr. Youngkin’s ability to self-finance is a threat that must be taken seriously. “There are 75 million reasons why Glenn Youngkin could win,” Mr. McAuliffe told supporters, alluding to how much the Republican could spend on the campaign.

If Mr. Youngkin is able to spend enough money to define himself to voters before Democrats do it, and if President Biden’s popularity wanes by November — as it did with former President Barack Obama in 2009, the last time Republicans won the governorship here — Mr. Youngkin will be positioned to at least make the race close.

In contrast to the last two Virginia governor’s races,…

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