McAuliffe remains up in latest Virginia gubernatorial polls
(L) Terry McAuliffe (R) Ken Cuccinelli
October 10th, 2013
09:13 AM ET
6 months ago

McAuliffe remains up in latest Virginia gubernatorial polls

(CNN) – With less than four weeks to go until Election Day in Virginia, a new poll indicates Democrat Terry McAuliffe holds a slight eight percentage point lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the battle for governor.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning, 47% of likely voters in Virginia's November 5 election say they back McAuliffe, a businessman and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who's making his second bid for governor. Thirty-nine percent of those questioned say they support Cuccinelli, with Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis polling at eight percent, and five percent unsure.

In two polls released earlier this week, McAuliffe held a nine-point lead (47%-38%) over Cuccinelli in a Christopher Newport University survey and a smaller five-point advantage (41%-36%) in a Roanoke College poll.

Virginia, a critical purple battleground in campaign politics, and New Jersey are the only two states to hold gubernatorial contests in the year following a presidential election, giving them outsized attention and importance.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, McAuliffe has the backing of 95% of Democrats, with 83% of Republicans supporting Cuccinelli. Forty percent of independents support McAuliffe, with 38% backing Cuccinelli and 13% for Sarvis.

The survey indicates a gender gap, with women backing McAuliffe, a close confident of Bill and Hillary Clinton, 53%-34% over Cuccinelli and men more divided (45% for Cuccinelli and 41% for McAuliffe).

"With less than a month to go until Election Day, McAuliffe is doing better among Democrats than Cuccinelli is among Republicans. McAuliffe and Libertarian Robert Sarvis are denying Cuccinelli the domination among independents he needs for victory," says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "To get back in the race, Cuccinelli must bring back into the fold Republican defectors and pull in more independent voters – a tough task this far into the campaign."

McAuliffe's campaign has spent much of this year trying to portray Cuccinelli, who's a favorite of tea party and other grassroots conservatives, as too extreme for mainstream commonwealth voters. According to the poll, 46% of likely voters say Cuccinelli is too conservative, with 38% saying McAuliffe's too liberal.

With Virginia home a large number of federal workers, national issues, such as a partial federal government shutdown and the battle over the new health care law, are playing a significant role in the contest.

The poll indicates likely voters are divided 49% – 47% percent on whether they support the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. And more than seven in 10 are opposed to shutting down the government to try and dismantle the health care law.

The winner of the election will succeed outgoing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted October 2-8, with 1,180 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus six percentage points.


Filed under: 2013 • Ken Cuccinelli • Polls • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    47 to 39: being part of the rebel party is dragging Cuccinelli even further down in the polls.

    October 10, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. roro

    Women of Virginia: If you want government up your cooch, then vote for Cucc. Otherwise, vote for the man who will protect your personal rights.

    October 10, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Governor McAuliffe has a nice ring to it. No matter how much Cooch tries to separate himself from Felipe "TED" Cruz, he's still one of them(TEA QUEDA). Now that Virginia is a purple state leaning blue, reasonable republicans aren't voting for this radical AG of ours. This is the beginning of the end of your economic terrorism republicans.

    R.I.P.G.O.P. 11/14

    October 10, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. cumulus

    I can't help but think of captions every time I see these guys photos, Terry: you call that a tan,looks like you've been welding all night without your helmet again: Ken cuc: well I've been working in you wife's bedroom all night, but I wouldn't call it welding......

    October 10, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Boehner Is a Cr(y)uz Baby

    Out with Cuccinelli and out with Ted Cruz along with Bob McDonnell...this is just the begining of the end of the Teabagging Republicans!!

    Can we get another govt SHUTDOWN right before mid-terms....so the momory will be fresh in the minds of hardworking Americans to help clean house and vote-out all the GOP-TeaParty members of congress? LOL

    October 10, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    VA, go and vote For democratic party straight. GOP thugs send you to WARS.

    October 10, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    Hard to appeal to a broad spectrum of the public when your main accomplishments are support for invasive trasvagainal scans, your opposition to extending affordable health insurance to people, and a muted, pathetic frespose when thousands of people in the state are furloughed because the Tea Party refuses to recognize election results.

    October 10, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. rs

    No surprise here. Virginia is a "border state" and Cuccinelli is one of the most radical cultural warriors on the right. Typical GOP overreach.

    October 10, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Can we get another govt SHUTDOWN right before mid-terms....so the momory will be fresh in the minds of hardworking Americans to help clean house and vote-out all the GOP-TeaParty members of congress? LOL
    -------------------------------------------------
    I know what you mean. Voter amnesia is exactly what the Cucinelli's and the in-House Teatards are counting on to keep them or put them in office.
    The state of Virginia does not need someone who's main claim to fame was that he was the first one to sue the federal government over the Affordable Care Act before the ink was dry on the President's signature.
    Cucinelli and his ilk promised to shut the government down in 2010,why would you even consider giving him the key to your state?

    October 10, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "According to the poll, 46% of likely voters say Cuccinelli is too conservative, with 38% saying McAuliffe's too liberal."

    Interesting stats. Reince Preibus has his rebranding work cut out for him. So far he seems to be lacking in credibility.

    Let us hope this trend continues.

    October 10, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Bessy

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    I know what you mean. Voter amnesia is exactly what the Cucinelli's and the in-House Teatards are counting on to keep them or put them in office.
    ------------------------------------------------
    You have that right. I can't believe that people have such short term memories but that seems to be the case every election. Keep up the good work " Mama ".

    October 10, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Marie MD

    If yin don't want one of the members of the original Virginia governor va ginal probe of pregnant women don't vote for this cuchimamma clown.
    He also wants to keep women from being able to leave their abusive husbands. Great teatard example of keep government out of. Y life, he wouldn't even take a picture with the Canadian terrorist at a rally the Canuck attended for him.
    Wasn't he also one of the lawyers who took Obamacare to the SCOTUS?

    October 10, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. sammy750

    It is interesting to note that the Governor instructed that 100,000 people be purged from the voters rolls for the November election. Is this not stuffing the ballot box on the Republicans part. They are taking away the right for people to vote in November. And several other republican states are doing the same. purging the voters rolls. Where is the democracy under the Republicans?

    October 10, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Marie MD

    @Dutch, TEAQUEDA. Love it!!!!

    October 10, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Bill

    Clearly, Virginians are not interested in Governor Ultrasound Part II. One day, these clowns will learn that most people are not obsessed with social issues at the ballot box. Unless you are running for office in Nebraska.

    October 10, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |