Republican Ed Gillepsie has shocked the nation at this rate with a campaign that — according to the Washington Post, pundits¬†and academic public policy centers — should never have had a chance.

Rasmussen reports today that Ed Gillespie is in a dead heat with embattled Democratic nominee Ralph Northam in a poll conducted just before Northam unleashed a battery of racist and hate-filled ads earlier this week.

From the press statement:

A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters finds Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam each earning 45% support. Two percent (2%) prefer Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra. Another two percent (2%) like some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Both candidates earn comparable support in the mid-80s from voters in their respective parties and are tied among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.

Thirty-two percent (32%) of Virginia voters list economy and jobs as the top issue in the race, followed by 22% for whom taxes and spending rank most important. Cultural concerns including what to do with Confederate statues in the state are the top issue for 12%, while just as many (11%) cite illegal immigration. Nine percent (9%) are most concerned with law and order. Another 12% cite something else.

Gillespie’s surge in the last two weeks of the campaign is evidence of a collapsing Northam campaign that has failed to find its footing or its messaging in the closing days of the campaign.