Skip to comments.McAuliffe Leads Cuccinelli in Virginia Governor Race (41-40%)
Posted on 10/24/2013 9:27:46 PM PDT by Maelstorm
OCTOBER 24, 2013 A new Wenzel Strategies poll of likely voters in Virginia shows the race for governor is a pretty tight contest, though Democrat Terry McAuliffe continues to enjoy a small lead. It all depends on what the turnout is going to be, and whether Democrats who turned out in big numbers last year for President Obama come out again for McAuliffe.
There is evidence in the new WS survey that that will not be the case, as both McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli are not held in high esteem in the minds of voters and more people are discouraged with the general direction of the state than are encouraged. The Wenzel Strategies survey shows McAuliffe leading, 41% to 40%, with the balance of voters either favoring Libertarian Rob Sarvis (10%) or undecided.
The Wenzel Strategies poll, using a turnout model that is closely balanced, includes a sample of 28% Democrats, 26% Republicans, and 46% independent voters. This reflects the swing-state tradition of Virginia that has lately leaned toward Republicans in statewide, non-presidential years, but has tilted to the Democrats in recent presidential elections.
Using a turnout model replicated by Quinnipiac University in its recent survey, weighting the sample to include 33% Democrats, 25% Republicans, and 42% independents or minor party supporters, McAuliffe leads with 43%, compared to 38% Cuccinelli, 10% for Sarvis and 9% yet undecided. This reflects a slight tightening of the race, compared to the Quinnipiac survey that showed McAuliffe with a 7-point lead.
The survey shows there is reason to believe the race may well be tightening going into the final stretch, as a key issue benefitting McAuliffe fades into the rearview mirror the recent government shutdown, which hit some parts of Virginia hard. As the shutdown fades, another key issue that benefits Cuccinelli the expanding controversy over the bungled rollout of Obamacare is bound to grab more attention among voters by the day. It could well be that Cuccinelli has bounced off his low point and is headed up.
Finally, the question of how many conservative voters who say now that they support Sarvis will actually follow through and vote for him is yet unanswered. Voters who are disaffected with the political establishment can say they are supporting a third-party candidate, but actually casting a ballot for a spoiler is quite another matter. Outsiders have won GOP primary elections in recent cycles, but my sense is it is less likely to happen in this instance, when Sarvis supporters know it could well lead directly to the election of someone whose political philosophy is completely opposite of their own.
Uncertainty on this question is further compounded by the fact that 53% of Virginians dont even know enough about Sarvis to have formed an opinion about him. His support must be considered soft at best. In addition, a significant percentage said they were yet unsure about the race 9% are yet undecided, yet are likely to vote.
The Wenzel Strategies survey shows voters are split on both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli. While 45% said they have a favorable opinion of McAuliffe, 46% have an unfavorable opinion of him. For Cuccinelli, 47% hold a favorable opinion, while 50% have an unfavorable opinion of him.
McAuliffe has done a better job locking down his political base, perhaps in part to recent campaigning in the state by both Clintons, who are longtime allies of McAuliffe. Among Democrats, McAuliffe wins 81% support. Among Republicans, Cuccinelli wins just 68% support. Among those who consider themselves political independents, Cuccinelli wins 44% support, compared to 33% for McAuliffe and 11% for Sarvis.
If cuchenelli wins then we been lied to big time. Hope no one is discouraged from voting. If he does win i hopehe goes after his enemies.
It is all about turnout - which is why I cannot place too much value in these polls. And unfortunately, while I am fine with Cucinneli’s stances on the social issues, the turnout for him will be whether or not voters who personally are angered by his views on the social issues will be able to look past it so that they don’t leave Virginia stuck with a socialist opponents of free enterprise. I know of several University students who have been campaigning and going door to door for Cucinelli despite their personal vehement disagreement with him - and for the record, of course, I personally do NOT share these disagreements - on several social issues because, simply put, they can see that he is the only chance VA has at getting a Governor who won’t become the arch enemy of businesses, big and small, in this state.
The elephant in the room is the libertarian. With him out of the mix, the Republican would be winning handily. We had some libertarians spoil some races last year too. Sadly I think it’s only going to get worse. Libertarians are poised to hand most of the country over to the Democrats by spoiling these races. The libertarian should try to win in the Republican primary and if they don’t, stay out of the race because they clearly won’t be able to win in the general if they can’t win a primary against just one of the candidates.
If Cucinnelli wins, I think he should pursue investigations of these polling companies.
Yes...3rd parties ruin a lot of races.
I agree but I think McAuliffe may be overdoing it with his over the top ads about Cuccinelli. Most are just outright lies. Cuccinelli has never opposed birth control. He is simply Prolife and the only thing he has did is push for abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as any clinic or hospital. Cuccinelli seldom talks or emphasizes social issues. He’s not favorable to gay activists. It doesn’t mean he hates gays nor is it the primary concern of his. I’m glad some students are doing this because it is extremely important to have a Governor who will hold the line on growth of state government and fight against federal encroachment like Obamacare. A Terry McAuliffe in office is like mainlining the worst of Obama’s and Clinton’s Washington. Thanks for your insight.
I absolutely agree with that. And, at the very least, remain hopeful that Virginians have much more good sense and judgement than the rest of America in that regard. I am optimistic that authentic Virginians, as opposed to the Maryland and DC transplants, are gonna turn out in much larger numbers than conservatives did for Romney. Only problem is that bracing yourself for huge letdowns has become a necessity if you are not a leftist complete statist.
Looks like a dead heat,but the MSM has it as McAuliffe leading!
It’s ridiculous that for all the Libertarians who rant about Ron Paul, they won’t leave Sarvis after Paul endorsed Ken.
I think the support for Sarvis will collapse. It is weak support and there is no reason outside of stupidity to vote Sarvis who can’t win if you believe in limited constitutional government which Ken has a clear record on.
Ken being endorsed by Ron Paul and Rand Paul is helping a lot. I can understand protest votes when its too big government types but this race has two candidates who couldn’t be more different. We have an extreme leftwing big money Democrat who supports gun control, supports partial birth abortion, supports Obamacare, supports killing coal, and supports spending tax payers money till the state surplus is no more.
I would hope if there are some GOP voters among them that they would come to their senses on election day.
Sarvis needs to bow out...and, hopefully, endorse Cooch.
All I can say from my door knocking in central Virginia is that I’m seeing increased enthusiasm from Red Virginia. They aren’t equivocating. Most of the voters I’m contacting are voting straight GOP. I’ve worked on campaigns that were not doing well and one of those was Jim Gilmores senate campaign in 2008 and the one feature I kept running into was Republicans who were voting for Warner. It was bad. That was one reason I was absolutely shocked by the Ras poll which thankfully was an outlier. This race is about turnout and if conservatives don’t turn out for our GOP ticket this year then they deserve to lose Virginia.
Fair enough, even in worst case scenario that Ken does not win, turnout from actual Virginians should be enough to ensure that the VA legislature is still dominated by actual Virginians who would sooner die that let Terry turn in into a carbon copy of Maryland.
Crap... that spells trouble for Cuccinelli (and all GOP candidates, from what I've seen).
I agree. I don’t think the GOP are going to have a problem maintaining their legislature advantage. Monday Rand Paul is going to be in the state. I’m going to try to make it to that rally.
Yep. Libertarian spoiler. Needs to bow out, NOW!