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 you have a chance to speak to Rand, please tell him to drop his endorsement of Traitor Midge and to support Matt Bevin, for Senator. Thanks.
I never trust polls as they are manipulated from the start.
Including Rasmussen? Ever since Scott’s departure, Ras Reports has turned into Zogby Special Sauce. First with them showing BO having a 52% approval rate and a few days ago having Cucinelli trailing by 17 points. What the hell has happened to them? In the past, Ras would have shown Obama in a range of 39%-43% approval in this type of current political environment.
In this case, something fishy is going on, and with Fast Terry involved, I am not surprised.
I’d sure like to see that but I doubt that will happen. I support Bevin. That is the problem with endorsing too early. I can cut Rand a break on that. I understand that he has a long view of things. You can’t wage war on all sides at all times. If Bevin wins then Rand can embrace him if he doesn’t he doesn’t have heat coming at him from McConnell. McConnell is polling weakly against his Democrat opponent. Bevin has to prove he has the ability to raise his name recognition enough to win this race and win in a way that doesn’t cause too many GOP to hate him. Rand was able to win and I think Bevin can too. However Bevin seems to lack some of the political instinct of Rand Paul.
The closer this race remains, even if Cuccinelli loses, it should still be enough to get Mark Obenshain across the line for Attorney General (and there is no 3rd party candidate in that race). Bishop Jackson may also fare better than expected for Lt Governor, despite the vicious attacks he has endured.
I don’t think Sarvis is getting out the race though it would make sense. Sarvis has run as a Republican in the past so it wouldn’t be a leap. The problem with some libertarians though is they are really Democrats at heart or they have no intention of even trying to win. Its an ego thing. I have many libertarian friends and I consider myself very libertarian in the Atlas Shrugs mode but my experience with libertarians is they are doing it not to win but as a protest. If the Libertarian party wanted to win they wouldn’t just rally behind Ron Paul they’d rally behind individual Senate, Gov, and House Libertarian candidates that have good resumes and don’t sound like nut jobs. Then maybe they’d actually win something which I actually think would be a good thing.
Sarvis I believe will probably attract more young idealistic voters in the end which of course will not be a very large segment of the electorate in this off year election. That will mean he will probably hurt McAuliffe more when election day arrives and older wiser libertarians migrate to Cuccinelli.
Sarvis also will be attracting more people who probably wouldn’t have shown up at all otherwise. I’ll be concerned on election night if the initial returns show Sarvis getting anything close to 5% of the vote.
I think you may be correct. I have a suspicion that Jackson will over perform his polling. I also believe the GOP ticket has made a mistake in under utilizing him. The GOP finally have some color on the ticket and they let him be treated like a red headed step child but then again the GOP tends to be afraid of its own shadow. Out of all of the volunteers and voters Jackson voters are the most loyal and motivated and I’ve noticed minority voters are very open to him. Obenshain I believe has a great chance of winning and he is an excellent conservative candidate. I haven’t encountered any ticket splitters like I did when I was working on the Gilmore Senate campaign in 2008 which is good. I am also not getting any sore puss GOP talking about how bad Ken, Jackson are which is also good.
That's awful. The changing Virginia demographics and this Libertarian spoiler candidate don't make a Cuccinelli victory very likely. Which is extremely sad...
How many of those libertopians would vote for McAuliffe over Ken?
The Republican State Leadership Committee is actually pouring money into the Obenshain race. Mitt, Rubio, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul have all helped fundraise but many McDonnell donors are sitting on their money because of course they are just corporatists and are upset that Ken can’t be bought like McDonnell was.
Where is Rand Paul going to be? I would love to see him speak.
He’s doing two events.
One in Virginia Beach:
Well, if more states had runoff or instant runoff elections, we wouldn’t have to worry about spoilers. No one should be able to win with less than 50% of the people preferring them. That’s not democratic. If someone gets 45% of the vote, the majority of the voters might never have voted for them, but we don’t know that in a multi-candidate race without a runoff calculation.
Let’s keep in mind if Texas didn’t have a runoff in their Republican primary, Ted Cruz wouldn’t be a Senator now. He trailed Dewhurst in the primary, but Dewhurst only got 45%. The runoff was held and Cruz beat him 57 to 43.
“Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst failed to capture the 50 percent necessary to win the Republican nomination Tuesday, forcing him into an unpredictable nine week run-off campaign with former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz...”
“With 95 percent of the vote in, Dewhurst was leading the second-place Cruz, 45 percent to 34 percent.”
I think if war was an issue, the anti-war libertarian contingent would push more to the Dem side. But a race like this is probably hinging more on fiscal policy, so I would think at least 2-to-1 of the libertarian vote would swing to the Republican.
I agree entirely. I have suggested the same. I wish that the GOP would adopt it for primaries universally and I’d love if every state had a run off where candidates must get 50% to avoid a run off. It would benefit everyone except those who wish to spilt and dilute voters intent which of course is exactly what the political class want.
Thank you. Can definitely make the Fairfax one.
Is Cuccinelli running hard against ObamaCare? He was one of the original legal pioneers against it, and must play that up.