May 16, 2013
Democrat Terry McAuliffe has opened up a slight 43 - 38 percent lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race to become Virginia's next governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
The McAuliffe-Cuccinelli race has been a tossup since Quinnipiac University began surveying the contest late last year, with a March 27 survey showing Cuccinelli at 40 percent to McAuliffe's 38 percent, a statistical tie.
"The governor's race remains tight and could well go all the way to November as a close contest," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute. "The 17 percent of voters who say they are undecided will determine the Commonwealth's next governor. At this point neither man seems to have much of an edge. "
Independent voters, who tend to be later deciders and generally go to the winner, are split right down the middle in the governor's race, 38 percent for Cuccinelli and 37 percent for McAuliffe.
Cuccinelli has an 85 - 3 percent lead among Republicans, while Democrats go to McAuliffe 83 - 5 percent. Cuccinelli carries men 44 - 38 percent, while McAuliffe wins women 47 - 33 percent. White voters go 48 - 35 percent for the Republican, as black voters back the Democrat 70 - 5 percent.
Neither candidate is well-known. McAuliffe is viewed favorably by 22 percent of the electorate and unfavorably by 17 percent, while 60 percent don't know enough about him to have an opinion.
Attorney General Cuccinelli is better known, with a 31 - 24 favorability rating.
Jobs are the most important issue in their vote for governor, 22 percent of voters say, followed by 16 percent who list government spending, 15 percent who list health care, 12 percent who cite schools and 11 percent who list taxes.