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.
>> The elephant in the room is the libertarian.
Really? Was that true in 2012?
Third parties don't win but can be spoilers.
Big difference between Presidential elections and off-cycle state elections. Turnout will be much lower -- which usually is to the benefit of the Republican candidate.
In the 2011 state senate elections, the GOP had 200,000 more votes for its candidates statewide than did the ‘Rats, even though the GOP had 11 uncontested district victories. The ‘Rat redistricting of the senate allowed them to achieve a 20-20 tie.
Here in northern Virginia, there are maybe 4 or 5 House of Delegates races (out of 35 or so seats in the region) that are competitive The lack of competitive races with local political operations is not going to help Terry McAwful.
They are now even so they had to rush out a push poll to show that mcawful has a slim lead.
Libertarians - we stand for nothing and fall for every thing.
A victory is not impossible—just improbable. We need a large turnout for Ken and a somewhat depressed Dem turnout. The Dems have already built up a lead based on polls of early voting. The Dems are very good at rounding up their voters and getting them to vote prior to election day. No doubt some fraud is also involved.
Not necessarily. Many of these voters would stay home and not vote for Rep or Dem. This idea of third parties drawing votes from the Reps and Dems is overblown. The very fact that there is a third party candidate or even more fringe parties is an indication of people being disaffected from the main parties.
Maybe if the GOP backed up their small government, individual liberty rhetoric with real action instead of supporting the erosion of both of these things then people who value those things wouldn't go shopping for another place to vote. It's not just stoners who are voting Libertarian.
In the House of Delegates races (100 total) there are 16 Dems running unopposed compared to 29 Reps running unopposed. The fact is that the Rep vote could be more depressed than the Dem vote given the number of Reps running unopposed. On a positive note, there is no way the Dems will gain control of the House of Delegates this year.
Yes, Cuccinelli is running hard on his opposition to Obamacare and his role in fighting it at the state level. Ken emphasized that again and again in the debate last night.
Baloney. Why isn't it democratic? We have had Presidents who have been elected with less than 50% of the popular vote. European democracies with parliamentary governments have multiple parties.
More and more Americans are becoming frustrated with our two party system. What we have now is really one party with two wings--Dem and Rep.
Ken also needs to tie McAuliffe to Obamacare. I think he did that in the debate or at least said he would keep Obamacare out of VA.
McAwful wants to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
Sounds to me like the problem isn't with Libertarians. I'm not one and never would be, but this clip seems to indicate that Virginia has its share of establishment Republicans who won't get behind a conservative candidate.
Mostly, and primarily, he wants to steal the election in ‘16 for hillary
all else is facade
What’s the GOP resistance to Cuccinelli? What were his missteps?